2010 Year-End Estate Planning: Taking Advantage of Legislative Chaos

December 6, 2010

The current uncertainty regarding federal estate, gift, and generation-skipping taxes presents both estate and financial planning opportunities and challenges. Despite legislative uncertainty, individuals may have a once in a lifetime opportunity to transfer wealth before January 1 at a gift tax rate and under a favorable transfer tax system that may never exist again. On December 2, Senator Max Baucus introduced legislation which contained significant transfer tax provisions. The Baucus Bill failed to garner sufficient votes to be considered by the Senate. Because Senator Baucus is Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee and a member of the working group formed to reach a compromise on tax legislation, it is possible that some form of the Baucus Bill could be enacted before the end of 2010, bringing more certainty to the transfer tax area while severely curtailing a popular planning estate planning technique (the short-term GRAT).

McGuireWoods’ white paper 2010 Year-End Estate Planning: Taking Advantage of Legislative Chaos discusses the current legislative situation, the estate planning opportunities for individuals and families, and the need to respond quickly to make the best use of those opportunities before they are eliminated by Congress.

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