There I was, minding my own business. I had just enjoyed a nice, healthy meal, about 15 minutes before. My intentions were good, really good. I intended to buckle down and begin work on an estate plan for Wednesday signing. Problem: My attention span started to drift. [I'll blame the Emeril's.]
So, to where does my attention span drift? Why to The Wall Street Journal online edition, of course.
I was not prepared for the article that greeted me there, freshly posted and hot-off-the-press: "Budget Would Raise Taxes on Wealthy, Limit Deductions." Yawn. What else is new, right? As I read on I learned that President Obama intends to raise capital gains rates and limit itemized charitable deductions. Yawn, again. As I read on I learned that President Obama intends to extend the 2009 estate tax exemption amount and rates. Yawn, yet again. Ah, but as I read on, the next paragraph left me slack-jawed:"He proposed putting limits on the use of family trusts that have helped wealthy families lower their estate-tax liabilities, which the White House estimates would increase government revenue by $23.7 billion over 10 years." [Emphasis added.]
Huh??? What does he mean by "family trusts"? Nowhere in the article is there any further explanation, clarification, or definition. Could it be that the federal government is now targeting traditional A-B Trust planning to help feed its voracious appetite for tax revenue.