Federal Estate Tax Law to Change

In his article in The Wall Street Journal titled Obama Plans to Keep Estate Tax, Jonathan Weisman points out that President-elect Barack Obama and congressional leaders plan to retain the estate tax instead of allowing it to expire as scheduled in 2010.

Under the new plan, the estate tax would be locked in at the 2009 rate and exemption levels. This would mean that estates of $3.5 million ($7 million for couples) would be exempt from the estate tax. The value of the estate which exceeds $3.5 million would be subject to a tax of 45%.

If the tax were returned to the levels before the change in the tax law in 2001, the tax would exempt only $1 million with the excess over $1 million taxed at 55%.

The Obama plan could be looked at as a compromise position. It imposes a limit on exemptions from estate tax ($3.5 million) while at the same time it keeps the exemption at a level high enough that fewer than two percent of annual deaths would be subject to the estate tax.

To speak with an attorney about how the changes to the estate tax may affect you and your particular situation, contact The Law Offices of Wilson & Wilson.