Thursday, October 22, 2009

Estate Planning Tips

By Shawn Chandok

By now, I think Dave, Ahmed and I have discussed the components of estate planning enough to say we can almost consider ourselves as experts. This is exactly why I have decided to provide some common estate planning tips that can be applied to anyone.
First and foremost, the most important part of estate planning is obviously having a will. Once this is established, you should make sure your will is notarized with the correct number of witnesses. This number varies from state to state and avoids any post death problems between beneficiaries. In addition, beneficiaries should never sign the will as a witness.

Another important tip should include naming an executor who will manage your estate from the moment you die until your wealth is distributed. Usually most people use their lawyers however this is a very important job, so make sure your lawyer is someone who is both trustful and dependable.

If you are a person with an exceptional amount of accumulated wealth, an irrevocable living trust maybe more beneficial tax wise. I say this so because in 2007 and 2008 only people with assets greater than $2 million had to pay estate taxes. In 2009 that number has increased to $3.5 million and it is expected to rise in 2011. An irrevocable living trust such as an Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust “is commonly used to remove the value of property from a person’s estate so that the property can't be taxed when the person dies. In other words, the person who transfers assets into an irrevocable trust is giving over those assets to the trustee and beneficiaries of the trust so that the person no longer owns the assets. Thus, if the person no longer owns the assets, then they can't be taxed when the person later dies.” Thus, it is clear how trusts are more tax friendly.


What happens to credit card debt after death

By Dana Dratch

Posted by Ahmed Al-Salem

You can't take it with you, but do credit card bills follow you into the grave? Does that debt die with you? Or can it come back to haunt those left behind?

What happens to your credit card when you die?There's no one-size-fits-all answer. A number of factors, including where you live and who applied for the card, can radically alter the situation.

Here's the simple part: If the card was yours alone, with no joint account holders, the debt is yours alone, too.

When you die, your estate is responsible for paying off the balance. If the estate goes through probate, your administrator or executor will look at your assets and debts and, guided by law, determine in what order bills should be paid. Remaining assets will be distributed to heirs by following your will (if you have one), or state law (if you don't).

Read On

You Always Need a Lawyer!

Post by David Held

There it is a lawyer for everything. When planning one’s estate he or she must consult with a lawyer. There are many technical aspects to writing a will and piecing together your estate. When selecting a lawyer, one has to do his or her research. This may be just searching on the Internet or conducting interviews with different estate lawyers. An estate lawyer can ultimately save you thousands of dollars because it is this person’s job to help you avoid all kinds of taxes. As mentioned previously in this blog estate taxes can eat up most of one’s estate.

The most common question that arises when one is looking for an estate lawyer is, “are the lawyer’s fees expensive and if I needed to re-plan my estate how much extra will be?” Lawyer’s fees vary from state to state and from agency to agency. There is no telling how many times one may need to re-draft his/her estate. The times where you would want to consider rewriting your estate are, if you get divorced, if someone dies (who is mentioned in your estate), or if you give away as something that was originally in your estate. Estate planning can be very tricky and the government is always out to take as much of your estate as it possibly can, mostly through taxes. So, one must be very careful when planning his or her estate because if they are not their loved ones will have trouble recovering the belongings that were meant for them!

Source #1, #2, #3

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Estate Tax: A New Conspiracy Theory

Post by David Held

The political fight over the estate tax, the subject of a weekend article in The Wall Street Journal, may soon be re-engaged in Congress.

In 2001, President Bush pushed through a law that gradually decreased the levy on heirs over the course of a decade, until the estate tax finally disappears altogether in 2010. In 2011, though, the tax will rebound to its pre-Bush levels.

This policy quirk has spawned lots of “throw momma from the train” jokes among tax wonks, since potential heirs stand to gain a lot by having their rich relatives die in 2010. But the estate tax law also has implications for the federal budget.

Let’s say Congress, distracted by health care reform, leaves the current estate tax laws untouched. If a rich person dies at 11:59 p.m., Dec. 31, 2010, the government won’t get a dime. But if, through the wonders of modern Medicare-financed medicine, he manages to hang on another minute and instead dies at the stroke of midnight on Jan. 1, 2011, the government collects 55 percent of his net estate worth over $1 million.

Hmm. I smell a new job for those “death panels.”

Click here to read on!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

How Far Is Too Far When It Comes To Collecting Debt?

Article by Katelyn Hayes

Post by Shawn Chandok

The grief of losing a child is unbearable enough, but as one New York couple found, keeping their dead son’s creditor’s at bay is ever more burdensome. According to this report on, Roco and Laurie Crimeni are forced to relive the same pain they felt burying their 27-year-old son Vincent — who collapsed and died of a heart attack while playing softball almost a year ago — nearly every time the phone rings.

Why? Because creditors are demanding payment for the debts he left behind. Legally, though, these creditors have no right to do so. If there aren’t any assets left behind, and debts are in the deceased’s name only, family members are not required to pay. Yet this couple is being straight-up harassed over their dead son’s outstanding bills!

My heart goes out to them. They’re just trying to pick up the pieces of their lives, but they aren’t being given the opportunity to move on. Roco had this to say to

I’m afraid to pick up the phone in my own home,” he said. “That’s the hard part, to tell them my son is dead. How many times do I have to repeat it?”

Click here to read more!!

Credit/Bad Debt and Estate Planning

Post by David Held

Even death may not stop debt collectors

Remember Benjamin Franklin's famous quote, "'In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes"?

Well, if you're in debt, that quote might need to amended to say, "nothing can be said to be certain except death, taxes and debt collection."

Debt collectors are getting so gung-ho these days that for those in debt, even death won't stop the collections.

The New York Times reports the following:

"Dead people are the newest frontier in debt collecting, and one of the healthiest parts of the industry."

How does one collect from a dead person? By collecting from their living relatives, even when that person is not legally obligated to pay.

Take the company DCM, which began as a law firm but now spans into a variety of industries including debt collection. They have many trained agents who coax the next of kin for the departed person to settle that person's debts.

Read more!

Poor Credit Personal Loans – Credit Report Repair Helps Lower Rates

Posted by Andrew Lipsitz

Poor credit personal loans are a financial tool that many Americans are using to help get some extra cash. Going through a credit report repair program could go a long way towards getting you lower interest rates. Your ultimate goal in getting a poor credit personal loan should be to get the lowest interest rate you can get without having to pay any extra fees. Some personal loan companies will lower your rate but watch out for the fees up front that could end up costing more.

Many personal loan companies offer borrowers up to $25,000 if they qualify. You may not need this much money but it could go a long way towards paying off bills and digging yourself out of the hole of bills everywhere. Although most financial planners suggest not using debt to pay off debt it might be a good idea to help get some bills out of the way if you get a low interest rate on a personal loan. It would not be advisable to pay off debts with a lower interest rate though.

It should not be difficult to find a poor credit personal loan company out there as they are advertising all over the Internet and on the television. If you watch CNBC or FoxBusiness at all you know exactly what I am talking about. It seems like every single time there is a commercial break there are several ads for debt consolidation or personal loans. This is not a bad thing if you need these services; make sure to jot down the number of these companies when you do see the commercials.

Click here to

Wills vs. Trusts

Article by LectLaw

Post by Shawn Chandok

A Will is the legal document that allows you to distribute your property to those you choose. A Will allows you to designate beneficiaries to receive specific items from your estate, and other beneficiaries to receive everything else. For example, if you want your house, your car, or your antique thimble collection to go to a certain person or organization, you designate that person or organization as the beneficiary.
A Will also gives parents of minor children the chance to nominate a guardian. The court makes the final decision when appointing a guardian for your children after your death, but the court will usually accept your nomination. A guardian’s legal responsibility is to provide for your child’s physical welfare.

A Will comes into play only after you die, but a living trust can actually start benefiting you while you are still alive. A living trust is a trust established during your lifetime. It is revocable, which allows for you to make changes. You will transfer substantially all of your property into your living trust during your lifetime, and any omitted assets can be transferred into the trust at the time of death through the use of a simple Pour-over Will. You should always make a Pour-over Will at the time that you establish your trust.

A living trust will be used as the mechanism to manage your property before and after your death, as well as provide how those assets, and the income earned by the trust, are distributed after your death. If you should become incapacitated or disabled, the trust is in place to manage your financial affairs, usually by a successor trustee, if you were serving as trustee. A living trust is not subject to probate, and therefore, all provisions of the trust will remain private.

Click here to read more!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Intestacy Laws

By Shawn Chandok

Intestate death means you have died without ever written a will to designate your wealth and lifework. So the question we ask ourselves is what happens if we die and don’t write a will? Well the answer to this varies state by state. Most states begin with the spouse or children as the number 1 beneficiaries. If you do not have a spouse or kids, your parents will accumulate your wealth assuming they are still alive. If your parents are no longer alive either, then siblings are usually next in line, followed by nieces and nephews if you have no siblings. Intestate death can create many problems for the families because it gives the state the right to choose who inherits what. This also means your wealth can go to a sibling or family member whom you disliked.

Another problem with intestate deaths is that it doesn’t consider any friends. For example, if you die the state cannot, and will not name any of your friends as inheritors of your life work. Instead, if you have no close family, all your life work goes back to state in which you resigned. This is another HUGE reason why you should consider making a will as soon as possible.


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Paul Anka to Get Half the Royalties for the New Michael Jackson Song


Posted by Ahmed Al-Salem

Michael Jackson’s new song “This Is It” could prove a significant payday for Paul Anka. Although the song had been advertised as an unheard recording left behind by Mr. Jackson — and written by him alone — it became clear after it was released on Sunday night that “This Is It” was not new at all: it had been written by Mr. Jackson and Mr. Anka 26 years ago, and recorded by the singer Safire in 1991 as “I Never Heard.” Late Monday afternoon, the Jackson estate acknowledged Mr. Anka’s role and said he would be given credit. On Tuesday, the estate also confirmed that Mr. Anka would receive half of all due royalties for the song, which could be substantial. The song will play over the end credits of the film “This Is It” and feature prominently on its soundtrack. In addition, Mr. Anka would be owed fees for any licensed use of the song to commercials or other films. The Jackson estate is said to be in talks with Coca-Cola about possible use of “This Is It” in a large ad campaign, according to people with knowledge of the discussion who were not authorized to speak about it.

Read On

Death Comes Before Fame

By Ahmed Al-Salem

This is kind of strange. A man dies yet he continues to make money. So much so, that he can make more money dead than he can alive. We see this a lot in history. Death comes before fame sometimes. And those who fall victim to this strange phenomenon are usually artists. Shakespeare, Van Gogh, Tupac, MJ...and the list goes on. Who gets all this money? Since the person is dead whos bank account do the sales go to. In most cases, the money goes to the people who go after it the most. The government gets the first cut, then agents, then producers, etc and what ever is left get split among those who received money from wills.


What Does An Estate Consist of?

Post by David Held

When people are trying to plan out their estates the most common question is; what is included in it? People can be either extremely specific or very broad when doing estate planning. The more specific someone is, when writing their will or planning their estate, the less bickering, fighting, and legal work there usually is by their heirs. Everyone has seen on TV, siblings fighting over Mom and Dad valuables, and believe it or not, this is very common in the real world.

The most important thing to put in an estate would have to be your greatest assets. For most people their house is the most valuable thing they own. Along with their house; cars, stocks, clothing, jewelry, bonds, retirement options, and various other assets which could include coin and stamp and art collections, even businesses, should all be included or taken into consideration when distributing ones estate. “How the estate is distributed is determined by several things: the will, the beneficiaries named (if any), the way the property is titled, any letter of instructions, and the laws of the state in which the person lived.”

The average person doesn’t equate taxes with inheritance, so estates have to plan on how to pay the government. Once a person dies, the government intervenes to make sure that they get their share of taxes from the estate. It may take a while to settle an estate once the government gets involved; it could be even years before everything is settled. That is why it is very important to hire a good lawyer, while you are young, to help get everything in order!

Sources #1, #2, #3

King Siblings Settle Estate Lawsuit

Post by David Held

The children of Martin Luther King Jr. settled a longstanding and bitter dispute over the slain civil rights leaders’ estate late Monday night.

A lawsuit pitted two of Mr. King’s children, Bernice King and Martin Luther King III, against a third child, Dexter King, the president of King, Inc., which runs their father’s estate. They had accused Dexter King of cutting them out of the decisions about the corporation, withholding documents and refusing to hold shareholder meetings since 2004. A jury trial was set to begin soon, threatening to reveal details about the inner workings of King Inc.

“All of the siblings are very pleased that the matter was amicably resolved, and they are committed to looking toward the future, to beginning the process of working on their family’s relationship,” said Lin Wood, the lawyer for King Inc. He said the siblings agreed not to discuss the details of the settlement.

Click Here to Read On!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Brooke Astor’s Son Guilty in Scheme to Defraud Her

Article by JOHN ELIGON

Post by Shawn Chandok

The son of Brooke Astor, the philanthropist and long-reigning matriarch of New York society, was convicted in Manhattan on Thursday on charges that he defrauded his mother and stole tens of millions of dollars from her as she suffered from Alzheimer’s disease in the twilight of her life.

The jury’s verdict means that Mrs. Astor’s son, Anthony D. Marshall, 85, faces a sentence of at least a year and as many as 25 years. A co-defendant, Francis X. Morrissey Jr., a lawyer who did estate planning for Mrs. Astor, was also convicted of a series of fraud and conspiracy charges, as well as one count of forging Mrs. Astor’s signature on an amendment to her will.

The verdict drew the curtain on a long trial that cast an unflattering spotlight on one of New York’s first families of high society. Henry Kissinger, Barbara Walters and Annette de la Renta, among others, testified that Mr. Marshall mistreated his mother in her later years and conspired to inflate his inheritance from her estate — largely to appease his wife, Charlene Marshall. Mrs. Astor died in 2007 at age 105.

As the verdict was read, Ms. Marshall sat stone-faced; moments later, while her husband went to meet with a probation officer, she left the courtroom, saying, “I love my husband.” She and Mr. Marshall then held hands and ignored requests for comment before being whisked away in a black Town Car.

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Sunday, October 11, 2009

Trusts: A solution to Taxes?

By Shawn Chandok

One of the most important overlooked facts in estate planning is what parents do to ensure their children have a successful future. The basic goal of parents (whether wealthy parents or poor parents) to ensure their child’s future should be to “teach money management skills to their children when they are young.” One of the most popular strategies used by parents before the bubble burst was the grantor retained annuity trust. The basic idea behind this trust was that parents would bet on an asset (usually real estate) to appreciate for a time period of 2-10 years. Then when the trust hit maturity, the children would receive the appreciated asset tax free. An example of this asset gift would include first homes for newly married couples. Now that real estate assets have dramatically decreased in value, it seems as if this strategy is useless. However, there is one loophole to ensure your child receives your gifts. It is stated that “The grantor can swap out the original asset for one of equal value without penalty and start another trust with the original asset, if he believes it unfairly lost value.” Although grantor retained annuity trusts (GRATs) are excellent for giving money/wealth to children tax free, some have said they aren’t very useful in giving money to grandchildren. Another option recommended for giving gifts to grandchildren is a generation skipping trust.


Thursday, October 8, 2009

The Thrill of Wills

By Ahmed Al-Salem

The thing that annoys me is the fact that there are so many arguments over money after a person dies. The laws of inheritance that are practiced when no will is in place in the United States lack common sense. If a man or woman were to die in the midst of a divorce settlement, then all the money that the husband/wife has goes to their ex. Why? That doesn’t make any sense. That’s the last person the dying person would want to have want to take their money.
I think to lessen the grief and argument that happens over wills is to make a set of rules where everyone is entitled to a piece of the money no matter what. So if you had kids then a third of your money gets split among them, if you have a wife, then another third goes to her etc. That way people would not argue and there would be no incentive to suck up to a rich dying man because the money is out of his hands. A third should be designated for the dying person to do as he pleases but there has to be a system in place where those who are closest to him are taken care of before other relationships.


Estate Planning: What You Need to Know


Posted by Ahmed Al-Salem

Estate planning rarely gets the attention it should get.

Saving for your children’s education, purchasing a second home, deciding when and how to retire — these are all topics that people talk about with their friends and their financial advisers. But deciding what happens to whatever is left of your money when you die is often passed over. It shouldn’t be, though, because it is crucial to a financial plan.

But not discussing something that is going to happen will not stop it from happening. And at some point, someone is going to have to sort out your estate — regardless of how big or small it is. Here are some ofthe key issues that should be addressed:

Read On

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Death Panel

Post by David Held

Everyone knows that planning estate is a tremendous task that most people do not want to do. No one wants to plan his/her death, but it has to be done! Planning is not only done with your family, but physicians and lawyers, as well. Planning an estate does not only have to only be about distributing belongings, it also has to do with how you are treated when you are in the last stages of life. Do you want a do not resuscitate clause, meaning if you flat line in the hospital or anywhere you are getting treated you do not want them to bring you back to life(no paddles/electric shock to the heart).

Bill Thomas, M.D. of Ithaca, N.Y. says, “The entire point of doing this planning is thoughtful communication with a physician and creating some documents that can guide your care…It’s so you decide.” As I stated before not many people want to have this conversation, but it is completely necessary! This should definitely be done if you are diagnosed with a terminal disease, but it should be done in your 20’s. It is better to be safe than sorry, especially when it comes to your life.

All of this should be included in your living will. “A living will is a document that tells doctors and medical professionals your wishes regarding life-and-death decisions such as whether to accept or refuse life-prolonging treatment after a critical accident. You should complete documents recognized by your state.”

Source #1, #2, #3

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Your Financial Future: Getting Your Will Right

Post by David Held

Your Financial Future: Getting Your Will Right
You may need legal help to have things turn out the way you want
By: Martha M. Hamilton

It’s easy enough to understand why most of us are reluctant to write a will. Who wants to confront mortality?

I finally drafted a will about 10 years ago after my lawyer sister insisted. I realized that if I were to die before my pending divorce was final, everything would go to my soon-to-be-ex-husband unless my will said otherwise, and that turned out to be just the motivation I needed.

Now things have changed, and I really need to pull together a new will. It has been on my to-do list for more than two years.

And yet, I haven’t done it, and I suspect I’m not alone. So I turned to Edward L. Weidenfeld, a highly respected lawyer whose specialty is estate law, to ask how people can get themselves motivated to prepare for the inevitable. And what he said was persuasive.

First, when you die there is going to be “a division of your worldly goods, and if you don’t say with some precision how you want it done, the court’s going to apply standards that may not reflect your wishes, and be more expensive,” he said.

But, more important, he added, “it’s really the caring thing to do. Just like you don’t like a houseguest who leaves everything in a mess, most people really don’t want to pass on a mess for their family.”

One legacy you don’t want to leave behind is a family fighting over your assets.

Click HERE to read on!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Estate Planning: Why is it important?

Article by Pat Perkins

Post by Shawn Chandok

What is an Estate Plan?
Simply put, an estate plan is a blueprint designed during a person’s life for the purpose of specifying the manner in which a particular estate will be disposed of after death. An estate plan typically attempts to conserve estate assets by reducing tax liability and other expenses as well as eliminating uncertainties with respect to the administration of a probate. (A probate is the process of certifying the validity of a will by judicial means.) Depending on your goals, your concerns regarding the legacy you want to leave behind, your family structure and the number and kind of assets you own, your estate plan could be simple or complicated. The process of estate planning usually entails the input of one or more specialized, professional advisors including your lawyer, financial planner, accountant, life insurance agent, banker and broker

Why Do I Need an Estate Plan?
If you don’t own anything of value and have no living relatives, pets or children, then you probably don’t need a will. You can die “intestate” (without a valid will) and your personal items will be distributed according to your state’s laws. However, this description applies to a very, very few. The rest of us whether married or single, young or old and with or without children need to have some sort of estate planning in place in the event of our deaths.

As Ben Franklin once opined, “In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes,” but with good estate planning, you may be able to at least reduce some of the taxes your estate will be required to pay upon your death. These taxes, called estate taxes, are determined by an assessment of the total gross value of your estate; they are levied when you die and can eat into the value of the estate you leave to your heirs or beneficiaries. If you want to control the disposition of your assets–home, car, pets, money, stocks & bonds, life insurance, personal valuables–as opposed to letting Uncle Sam decide for you, then you need a proper estate plan. You might not be able to take it with you, but you sure can decide who gets what you leave behind.

Click here for more information!!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Heath Ledgers Estate Planning

By Shawn Chandok

The Mysterious Life Insurance Policy
On January 22, 2008 Australian actor Heath Ledger, was found dead in his four bedroom apartment by his housekeeper. Although there has been controversy over whether it was a suicide or accidental prescription drug overdose, the fact of the matter remains he is no more. However, one of the main reasons there was so much controversy over the mystery of his death is because of the fact that he took out a $10 million life insurance policy only two years before his death. Excluding his assets, this policy would provide $10 million to his 2 year old daughter and beneficiary, Matilda.

The Will
Initially Heath Ledger had written his will 2 years before his marriage with Michelle leaving everything behind to his parents and sisters. However, due to some legal calamities lawyers argued that it should be re-evaluated to include Michelle. Finally, after constant family disputes, Kim and Sally ledger (parents of Heath Ledger) finally agreed with Michelle Williams that Heath’s estate would too be inherited by Matilda. However, what struck me as the most interesting was the fact that when Heath “signed the will on April 12, 2003 it listed assets and cash of just $118,000, but the actor's estate is believed to be worth more than $16.3 million.” This value is preceding his role in the famous movie “The Dark Knight,” which we all know as one of the most profitable movies ever created. In conclusion, although things came out for the best for Heaths wife and daughter, all the problems and controversy could have been avoided if Heath managed his wealth with strategic estate planning.


Organ Donation: Not Just for Steve Jobs

Organ Donation: Not Just for Steve Jobs
By Ahmed Al-Salem

Money is always the first thing that a person is sought after when he dies. Where will it go and to whom? That’s not the only thing that people care about nowadays. A debate about harvesting the organs of the deceased is a big concern to many people. Steve Jobs, the CEO of Apple, recently got a liver transplant that saved his life. “I now have the liver of a mid-20s person who died in a car crash and was generous enough to donate their organs. I wouldn't be here without such generosity," an emotional Jobs told the audience at an unveiling of new and cheaper iPods at a showing in San Francisco. He urged everyone to become an Organ Donor. Only 38% of the nation is registed as organ donors. That means more than half of the people that can register don’t. Eighteen people die each day waiting for an organ transplant and such deaths can be saved if people were to donate their organs.

Some of the reasons that people are reluctant to donate are: concerns about bodily integrity, worries that signing a donor card may 'jinx' them, mistrust of doctors and fear that they won't get proper care if they are registered organ donors and religion. The only valid excuse in my opinion is the last, which is religion. We will all die one day and if your organs are going to rot into dust than you might as well give it to someone who can make use of it. I am personally an organ donor and I have specified that my organs be harvested only to save lives. I think it’s a good idea and that people should do this before they die.

Source #1

Obama Plans to Keep Estate Tax

Obama Plans to Keep Estate Tax
President-elect Barack Obama and congressional leaders plan to move soon to block the estate tax from disappearing in 2010, suggesting the levy might outlive the "Death Tax Repeal" movement that has tried mightily to kill it.

The Democratic stance on the estate tax contrasts with Mr. Obama's reluctance to press forward with his campaign pledge to raise income-tax rates on top earners, which he worries could have an adverse economic impact during a recession.

.But Democrats are determined to act quickly to prevent the estate tax's scheduled repeal. Elimination of the levy on big inheritances was approved by Congress under President George W. Bush in 2001, with rollbacks phased in slowly and its full elimination slated to take effect next year.

The Senate Finance Committee will move within weeks on legislation to reverse that law, and Mr. Obama is expected to detail his estate-tax preservation proposal in his budget next month, congressional tax writers said.

Under the Obama plan detailed during the campaign, the estate tax would be locked in permanently at the rate and exemption levels that took effect this year. That would exempt estates of $3.5 million -- $7 million for couples -- from any taxation. The value of estates above that would be taxed at 45%. If the tax were returned to Clinton-era levels, it would exclude $1 million from taxation with the rest taxed at 55%.

In making their case for the restoration, Democrats contend that such a large additional tax break for the rich shouldn't go into force halfway through Mr. Obama's proposed economic-recovery package. They argue that the deficit is already in record territory, while their plan wouldn't have any impact on the economy since it would merely keep the estate-tax rate at its current level. Mr. Obama and his party also say that the affluent already have benefited handsomely from the Bush tax cuts.

They also reason that if they don't act now, it will be politically harder to go ahead with their plan to resurrect the estate tax once it has disappeared.

For small-business groups, farmers' associations and the affluent families that created and bankrolled the "Death Tax" repeal effort, the emerging Democratic plan marks a stark defeat.

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