The Estate Tax Repeal Act of 2011, introduced by Representative Kevin Brady
(R-TX) along with 206 co-sponsors in the House of Representatives as H.R.
1259, has been brought back to the national spotlight.  In a public letter
to Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), Representative Austin Scott (R-GA) has urged
the Speaker to bring the bill up for a vote to draw a stark contrast between
Democrats and Republicans on the issue of the estate tax.

Under current law, the estate tax is set to rise to a rate of 55 percent
from the current 35 percent in 2013, as well as lower the bar to apply to
more estates; the federal estate tax currently applies to estates worth $5
million or more, but will apply to estates of $1 million or more beginning
in 2013 if current law is left unchanged.  The number of co-sponsors of the
bill would seem to ensure swift passage of the measure in the House of
Representatives; however, the bill’s prospects are not as bright in the
Democratically-controlled Senate.

Although a similar measure was drafted in the Senate by Senator John Thune
(R-SD) along with 36 co-sponsors as S. 2242, Senate Majority Leader Harry
Reid (D-NV) has expressed no interest in bringing the bill to a vote in the
near future.  With election season kicking into high gear, it seems likely
that the ultimate fate of these bills, as well as the estate and gift taxes
generally, will have to wait until after the November elections to be

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Contact Bayer & Kaufman to discuss how this legislation could affect your estate planning.


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