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Estate tax repeal could affect estate administration planning

Nobody likes to pay more taxes than they need to. This is why lawmakers were pressured to pass legislation to keep estate taxes low in Maryland and other states. However, there are some who would like to see the estate tax completely removed from the laws regulating estate administration. Now, there is newly proposed legislation that would repeal the estate tax.

In 2011, the current law had required that the estate tax exemption levels be lowered to where they were before 2001. This would have resulted in estates valued at $1 million to face taxation at 55 percent. However, just before time was about to run out, lawmakers permanently set the exemption level at $5 million per individual and $10 million per married couple. The American Taxpayer Relief Act also established the highest taxation level at 40 percent.

On the other hand, there are many who would like to see the estate tax completely go away permanently. This is exactly what one lawmaker is advocating in his new bill, which would result in fully repealing the estate tax. The lawmaker has been able to obtain 218 co-sponsors among lawmakers in the House of Representatives for his bill H.R. 2429, also known as the Death Tax Repeal Act.

However, until the bill is actually passed into law, people in Maryland will still have to deal with the estate tax. This means one may want to consider tax planning in one’s estate administration plans. There are various estate planning tools available that could help to reduce estate tax liabilities. As a result, intended heirs will be able to keep more assets from one’s estate.

Source: Drovers Cattle Network, "Estate tax repeal: Is it possible?", Mary Soukup, June 19, 2014

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