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Not even the best and brightest at Heckerling know status of Estate Tax in 2010

The University of Miami Law School sponsors the Heckerling Estate Planning Institute every January. This annual event is seen by many planners as the most important meeting of its kind, even the “Mecca” of estate planning.

Last Tuesday (1/26/10), three of the profession’s most politically-well-connected individuals, Steve Akers, Ron Aucutt, and Carlyn McCaffrey, spoke at the Institute. Noteworthy, was their joint admission that no one knows (1) what the estate tax law will be, (2) what the estate tax law is, or even (3) what the estate tax law was (since future legislation might be passed retroactively).

This is an unprecedented time when even the industry’s leading experts can’t tell us how clients should plan for the estate tax. Akers, Aucutt, and McCaffrey also acknowledged that they were in doubt as to whether Congress would even act this year. With the uncertainty of the current estate tax law, significant elections occurring in November, and tax cuts set to expire at end of 2010, one thing is sure, the wealthy should keep their friends close and their estate planning attorney even closer.

-Attorney David M. Grant