Good morning America. President Obama has won another four-year term as President of the United States!
So what might that mean for the estate and gift tax laws? While the President certainly surprised most everyone in December 2010 by temporarily raising the exemption equivalent of the unified credit to $5,000,000 and lowering the transfer tax rates to 35%, those hoping for the estate tax to disappear should probably not look for another similar surprise.
The probability is now greater that we’ll have lower exemption amounts (as low as $1,000,000) and higher transfer tax rates (as high as 55%). Let me be clear, the greatest estate and business transfer planning opportunity ever available will almost certainly end on January 1, 2013.
For those wanting to transfer a business or other inheritance property, the time is now!
While many questions remain as to how President Obama and the still-divided Congress will deal with the much-discussed fiscal cliff, one thing is certain: estate planning attorneys will continue to be busy through December 31.