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Rebirth of the Federal Estate Tax

Recent statements from Democratic politicians have indicated the possible rebirth of the federal estate tax. We are currently in a very good environment for estate planning since the federal estate tax exemption is $11,400,000 (2019). The Ohio estate tax was repealed effective for persons passing away after 2012.

Bernie Sanders, Cory Booker, and Elizabeth Warren have all called for lowering the estate tax exemption. Elizabeth Warren has even proposed an annual wealth tax on estates during lifetime. See https://www.vox.com/2019/2/4/18210370/warren-wealth-tax-poll

This rhetoric is probably not sufficient to motivate most of us to engage in any type of substantial estate tax planning to reduce estate taxes. It’s probably too early for that. However, inherent in the nature of any type of planning is that you must plan ahead prior to the occurrence of the event or change in the law. If you wait too long, once a change has occurred it may be too late too engage in some beneficial estate planning. We’ll have to keep an eye on Congress and the next election to see what will happen concerning estate tax developments.