Countdown to 2011 Estate Tax Law - November 12th

"The Congressional estate tax impasse is a rival to Jarndyce and Jarndyce. "Innumerable children have been born into the cause; innumerable young people have married into it; innumerable old people have died out of it...The little plaintiff or defendant, who was promised a new rocking-horse when Jarndyce and Jarndyce should be settled, has grown up, possessed himself of a real horse, and trotted away into the other world." Bleak House — Charles Dickens (1853)"

-Conrad Teitell, Chair, National Charitable Planning Group, Cummings & Lockwood

"The estate tax is a massive problem but the ambiguity surrounding it is worse. It's been long said that Wall St. hates uncertainty. So does the rest of the economy. We're suffering from a complete lack of direction from Washington. We cannot plan without direction."

-Brad Pine, Wealth Advisor, Bradford Pine Wealth Group, Securities offered through Cantella & Co. Inc., Member FINRA/SIPC

"I believe when the estate tax portion of the Reform Bill is passed, it will be retroactive to January 1, 2011. This is due to the fact that estate taxes are not payable until nine months after death."

-Brad Pine, Wealth Advisor, Bradford Pine Wealth Group, Securities offered through Cantella & Co. Inc., Member FINRA/SIPC

"The possible expiration of the so-called "Bush tax cuts", combined with the additional taxes on investment income in the healthcare bill that will kick-in in 2014, make converting to a Roth IRA‚ a very attractive option for some investors. Roth IRA conversions allow investors to lock-in current income tax rates, and offer the potential for tax free growth far into the future, for the account owner and his or her heirs. However, the deadline to make the switch and lock in this year's tax rates is December 31, 2010, so for those who are thinking about converting, now is the time."

-John Olivieri, Private Clients Partner, White & Case.

This election confirms that American's like grid-lock, but tax policy will need to be addressed first thing. Already, the latest suggestion is keep the cuts and add a new higher tax bracket for incomes over a million.

-Liz Miller, CFA & CFP, Summit Place Financial Advisors, LLC

"What will happen with the estate tax after the election? I don't think much will happen in the lame duck Congress. We'll have to wait till next year and hope Congress can bring itself to a reasonable compromise."

-Gideon Rothschild, Moses & Singer LLP

"The Plain Writing Act (H.R. 946), recently signed by President Obama, requires the IRS and other federal agencies (but not Congress) to use language that the public can understand. Although Congress left Washington without dealing with income, dividend and capital gains tax rates (not to mention the estate tax), it wants you to understand how you will be plucked."

-Conrad Teitell, Chair, National Charitable Planning Group, Cummings & Lockwood

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