“At first glance, the failure of Congress to plug the 2010 estate tax loophole appears to be good news for children of ailing rich parents — and of little consequence to everyone else.  But in fact, by letting the tax lapse, Congress has created a bunch of unintended consequences and increased the chances that you will owe taxes on an inheritance.  Yes, the perverse result of the disappearing estate tax is that some people of lesser means may owe capital gains taxes on inherited assets.  What’s more, since many wills and trusts are written on the assumption that the estate tax exists, a will that made sense last year (or any other year, for that matter) could result in your surviving spouse getting shut of your estate.  Here’s what you need to know about the estate tax, and how to protect yourself and your heirs, at least until Congress takes action.”