Acting Ways and Means Chairman Sandy Levin (D-Mich.) has announced the Committee is contemplating a bill to allow the estates of individuals passing away in 2010 to choose between the law as in effect today or the 2009 estate tax rules.
The repeal of the estate tax on January 1, 2010 substituted a capital gains tax that requires heirs pay rates of between 15 percent and 28 percent on any bequeathed assets they sell (subject to several exemptions).
A number of organizations previously opposed to the estate tax have reversed their position and appear to back this option. If Congress does nothing, the estate tax law reverts to 2001 levels, an option universally seen as the worst of all possible options.
The Will Doctor notes, that this does not answer the big question, of what is the up to the minute status of the law for 2011 and thereafter? We will keep you informed if we hear anything.