Estate Tax in 2010: What will it Mean for California Estate Planning?

9:17 am Uncategorized

As California estate planners, we keep hearing from all the major news sources that the estate tax isn’t dead, that 2010 could be the year everything changes for estate taxes again. So what does it mean?

As of right now [February 2010] the federal estate tax is not enacted. However, no one can say with any level of certainty when it will be revived. Many sources say that as long as you die before the end of 2010 your estate will be safe. Morbid as it may sound, it seems humorous that you’d have to plan to die to keep your estate from being taxed into oblivion.

The New York Times went as far as to say that most likely, if the grantor of the estate passes before midnight on December 2010, their estate will be able to be divided among the beneficiaries without estate tax.

But is this true?

As of this moment, the plan is that estate tax will go into effect on January 1, 2011… At a rate of 55% unless your estate is less than $1 million. This heavy taxation has many people reeling, especially those who were able to squirrel away healthy fortunes even through the subprime crisis and economic fallout of 2008 and 2009.

Let our Costa Mesa law offices help you get started by contacting us today.

While some congresspersons are pushing for a retroactive enactment of the estate tax to have an effect on estates that were executed from the onset of 2010 forward, chances are that it just won’t happen. Most people are happy about this, while others who have larger estates – and no plans to jump off a bridge – are more than a little miffed.

With the level of complexity associated with estate tax law, it just doesn’t make sense not to retain the counsel of a California estate planning attorney. You need to be 100% sure of exactly how your estate will be affected if you die unexpectedly this year, or if you die anytime beyond January 1, 2011. A Newport Beach asset protection lawyer can tell you exactly what the current estate laws are – and that’s extremely important because they could change every other day for the rest of 2010. Stay updated and know the rights of your beneficiaries and what they may face after your passing.

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