Estate Tax Repeal Is Not a Temporary or Permanent Certainty - How to Plan Now

December 12, 2016

President-elect Trump has proposed repealing the estate and gift tax. The Republicans control both the House and Senate, so might this be a possibility? While many advisers say it can never happen, none of the pundits anticipated a Trump victory either. The better approach is to consider what repeal of the estate tax might mean, how it would affect clients with estate planning that is in process now, and how it may affect clients in the future. Many taxpayers have begun to vigorously pursue estate planning strategies out of concern that proposed valuation discount restrictions (Proposed Regulations under IRC Sec. 2704) might become law. What should be done with these plans? In many, perhaps most, cases, planning should continue, but perhaps with some “tweaks.” Could the gift tax be repealed? How might that affect planning? What about the proposed capital gains tax on death in lieu of an estate tax? If the gift and estate tax were repealed tomorrow what should you do? How might will, trust and power of attorney drafting be affected?