Due to the ever changing and broadly applied federal estate tax laws, families can face dire and catastrophic consequences, such as a forced-sale of assets at less than optimal values, even with extensive advance planning. Simply put, in the context of family wealth, the unexpected death of a family matriarch or patriarch is not only a family tragedy, but it can also significantly affect the family wealth and business. The federal estate tax can play a large part in this loss.
The reality of the federal estate tax on family wealth is compounded by the tremendous change that has surrounded the estate tax law for the last 10 years. Over the last decade, the federal estate tax has been manipulated by widely changing tax rates and exemptions and such changes make advance estate and succession planning for family wealth all the more challenging. With more dramatic changes to the federal estate tax law looming, and with the economic recovery still struggling to take hold, efforts must be made to solidify the foundation for future growth and family succession planning through a critical examination of the federal estate tax.
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