Investment News: Tax changes that President Barack Obama and Congress hammered out in the final days of 2010 discouraged clients from seeking estate-planning advice last year, even though estate lawyers argue there are many planning opportunities that shouldn't be missed.
The legislation that set a $5 million estate tax exemption for 2011 and 2012 has all but eliminated “estate tax avoidance” as a motivating factor for clients, according to 32% of estate-planning lawyers and financial advisers surveyed recently by WealthCounsel LLC.
In fact, tax avoidance dropped from being the No. 1 reason in 2010 that clients sought estate planning to fourth last year, according to the survey of 1,085 professionals.
“The Republican-led Congress has done an effective job of vilifying the estate or “death tax' as unfair,” said Matt McClintock, executive director of WealthCounsel. “So with the $5 million exemption, a lot of people breathed a sigh of relief because they said, “I don't have that much,' and it diminished concern for estate planning as motivated by the estate tax.”
Continue reading about the lull in estate tax trapping the wealthy.