The changes in the inheritance laws effective in 2010 had a profound impact on the lives of terminally ill people. The coming changes to the law at the end of this year are worth reflecting upon.
If you are involved in the financial services world (as I am) then you aware of the despised Death Tax. If not you should probably look into this.
The Bush administration began to wind down this inheritance tax in 2001 and it finally reached a zero rate this year. The exemption last year was actually raised to 3.5 million.
Here was the situation last year; terminally ill people with a strong desire to leave as much of their hard earned wealth for their families, were hanging on to life until the clock struck midnight on December 31st 2009. I read one story where a woman, terminally ill, was asking her son the day and time every time she would become conscious. She lived until shortly after midnight.
Here is the other side of this dilemma. On January 1st 2011, the Tax is back. Congress has allowed this law to expire, without taking action and now this Death Tax jumps back to over 50%!!!
What would the difference be? Someone with $10 million who passes away New Years Eve leaves it all to their family. If they die the next day? They leave only a little over $5 million.
There is a lot of talk in the medical profession this week. Doctors are concerned about patient wishes; do not resuscitate paperwork is being signed and the “will to live” is turning into the desire to pass as soon as they can. Google this and see what you find.
This is a horrid tax.
Unless Congress acts, at 12:01 a.m. Jan. 1, 2011, the exemption will end and estates once again could fall prey to the old rules and if so, only $1 million in assets would be exempted, down from $3.5 million free from estate tax liability up until last year.
This all sounds like the back story for a Colombo murder mystery.
Seriously, will this be the motivation to pull the plug on Granny, or for Granny to pull the plug herself?
Our inheritance is in Christ. For that I am grateful. :-)
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