Skip navigation

A Historic Overview of Legislation

One hundred years of shifting policy and uncertainty

For the past 100 years, and at crucial times of crisis throughout U.S. history, the federal government has relied on the estate tax, also referred to as the “death tax,” as a source of government revenue. Conflicting beliefs on both the morality and purpose of taxation in the United States have led to persistent changes to estate tax law that leave the individuals subject to the tax in a constant state of uncertainty and inability to properly plan for the tax.

All access premium subscription

Please Log in if you are currently a Trusts & Estates subscriber.

If you are interested in becoming a subscriber with unlimited article access, please select Subscription Options below.

Questions about your account or how to access content?

Contact: [email protected]

Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.