Estate Planning Changes, Opportunities, and Pitfalls in the New Tax Law


It is rare that Congress and the President unite on a bipartisan basis to pass a tax law that provides estate tax relief. Rarer still is a tax law that provides significant lifetime planning opportunities in addition to the benefits available to decedents’ estates. The Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010 (the “2010 Tax Act” for short) is such a rarity, and its changes warrant a fresh look at your estate plan.

This Tax Law Alert focuses on (a) the basics of the 2010 Tax Act, (b) some of the key lifetime planning opportunities afforded by the 2010 Tax Act, and (c) certain immediate action items that may be required to adjust existing estate plans to account for the 2010 Tax Act.


In its most basic terms, the 2010 Tax Act increased the exemptions from the “transfer taxes” and lowered the rates on such transfers. The higher exemptions and lower rates make these transfers more affordable.

Please see full alert below for more information.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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