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Estate Tax Legislation Passed By the House

Since our last post, there has been some movement on the Estate Tax Reform front. On Thursday, December 4, with no Republican support, the House passed the Pomeroy bill providing a permanent extension of 2009 law (225 – 200. click here for a breakdown of the votes: http://politics.nytimes.com/congress/votes/111/house/1/929.

As a reminder, the Pomeroy Bill is summarized as follows:

H.R. 4154 – proposed by Rep. Earl Pomeroy (D – ND) on 11/19/09 titled Permanent Estate Tax Relief for Families, Farmers, and Small Business Act of 2009.

• Would make permanent the $3.5M applicable exclusion amount.
• Would freeze estate and gift tax rates at 45%.
• Replaces (and hopefully eliminates H.R. 436 introduced 1/1/09 which had significant restrictions in valuation discounts often used by estate planners).

While Jeffrey Burr recognizes that the passage of this Bill is only the beginning of a potentially complicated process, we felt it important to inform you of the activities taking place on the Hill with regard to Estate Tax Reform. We also feel it is important to point out that this bill does not address, negatively or otherwise, GRATs or valuation discounts. Stay tuned.

Please do not hesitate to contact Jeffrey Burr with any questions regarding Estate Tax Reform or any other Estate Planning or Probate matter.