fred-corbalisIt is now all but certain that we will have an estate tax in 2011, and it will be harsher than any other system we have had before in this regard since 2001, with the estate tax lifetime exclusion reduced to $1 million and the top tax bracket at 55%!

Furthermore, as of this date there is no clear agenda in Congress to do anything about it, unfortunately, and the $1 million lifetime exclusion is a certainty on January 1, 2011.

What this means is that the law is about to become a giant dragnet, pulling in upper middle class citizens and their hard earned, lifetime savings into the government hamburger grinder called the tax system.

In particular, individuals with net worths of between $1M and $3M and married couples with net worths of between $2M and $6M will be particularly damaged.  (Of course, those with higher net worths have an even greater need to protect their families, but that need has steadily existed through the gyrations and permutations of the estate tax.)

The Wall Street Journal published an excellent article on the subject on November 18th and it is a worthwhile read.

We are adept at helping such clients through our two key processes in this area:

For those higher net worth clients who are fully committed to protecting their families from the estate tax while ensuring that their values, hopes, and dreams resonate, our Laureate Wealth Planning process provides safety and security with indepth review, analysis, and discussion that provides clarity of purpose and results.  We help you use both big picture thinking and drilling down to the small details to protect you and your loved ones.

Alternatively, for those with lesser net worths or who wish to undertake a more incremental process our core planning process incrementally layers on levels of protection, allowing you to go as far or as short as you determine is best.

Back to current events, if there is any message here it is that family security is under full scale attack and it’s not about to let up.  Families need to decide whether to take steps to protect their hard-earned legacies or to do nothing and allow the confiscation of those legacies.