No tax is more contentious than the estate (aka death) tax. It is class warfare at its best.
Well, if you have not heard by now, the lame duck session of Congress is up and running. One of the "Bush tax cuts" set to expire this New Year's Eve concerns the estate tax, otherwise known as the death tax. I thought I would recommend an excellent article that appeared on the Bloomberg website a few days ago, in case you missed it.
The title of the article says it all: Return of Estate Tax Looms as Final Impediment to Extending Bush Tax Cuts. Reading it will get you quickly up-to-speed on the state of the estate tax.
Here is my take, for what it is worth. I think the current political climate is such in Washington that a circular firing squad is at least as likely an outcome as compromise at this juncture on the estate tax. By default, that means we return to a "pre-Bush tax cut" regime, with a $1 million exemption and tax rates starting at 50%.