Oregonlive.com:  “Plenty of gallows humor got bandied around when it became clear late last month that, amazingly, Congress was going to let the nation's estate tax lapse.   Whether any enfeebled people really were kept alive until 2010 to save their fortunes from taxation . . . . But the resulting vacuum has left estate lawyers and their wealthy clients in a different kind of coma.  And it might pose issues for middle-class heirs, too.   As it stands, there is no federal ‘death tax' on assets inherited by heirs who aren't spouses.  Congress didn't act quickly enough to extend or even revise the expired law that taxed inheritances above $3.5 million at up to 45 percent.  Next year, however, the tax returns to its 2001 version.  That is, only the first $1 million in assets will be shielded from Uncle Sam's grasp.”