I like to think the estate tax will be changed so that only estates above $5 million are taxed. That would eliminate the estate tax on almost everyone, and the big advantage would not be social policy — I think the estate tax is good social policy — but tax simplification. So much energy, intelligence and angst now go into avoiding estate tax! It’s nuts! You could replace all that revenue with a small excise tax on cars above $35,000 and homes above $500,000 (all this tied to inflation) and be done with it. (I know, many of you would rather not replace the revenue at all, but that’s a different discussion.)

In the meantime, though, click here for Fidelity’s helpful new Estate Tax information center.

I am not endorsing any Fidelity products, per se — nor all the generic strategies, like revocable trusts, that you will learn about. But this is a very handy way to learn the basics of the estate planning game, to find out what QTIPs and QTRPs are, and to get some sense of what you might be up against if, one day, you had to be the executor of a loved one’s estate.

 

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