$500 Million Score for Steinbrenner Heirs
This post by Jill Schlesinger originally appeared on CBS' MoneyWatch.com.
Considering that lawmakers have been aware of this issue since 2001, it's deplorable that they have done nothing to address it and have left families stuck in the fog for planning purposes.
I spoke with an estate attorney this morning who said that for the past couple of years, there was talk of setting the estate tax hurdle at $7 million for couples and $3.5 million for individuals, which was the 2009 level. But without legislative action, the estate tax repeal will "sunset", effective January 1, 2011 at which time the exemption amount for estates and gifts is $1 million and the the maximum rate for estate tax returns to 55%.
There's been talk about making any fix retroactive to the beginning of 2010, but the lawyer said that may be unconstitutional and more importantly, given how much money would be at stake (approximately $5 billion in taxes for Duncan and $500 million for Steinbrenner) the lawyers will fight this one for a long time. Then again, Uncle Sam has a lot to gain...and he sure could use the money, especially this year.
Jill Schlesinger is the Editor-at-Large for CBS MoneyWatch.com. Prior to the launch of MoneyWatch, she was the Chief Investment Officer for an independent investment advisory firm. In her infancy, she was an options trader on the Commodities Exchange of New York.
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