Washington Business Journal:  “The House passed legislation that would permanently extend this year's estate tax rates and exemptions, but the Senate may not act on the bill before Jan. 1.   If an estate tax bill isn't enacted by then, the federal tax on inherited assets would go away in 2010.  The tax, however, would be scheduled to return in 2011 at much higher rates and lower exemptions. . . . it's not clear whether that chamber will address the estate tax's future before the end of the year.”