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The Estate Tax Law changed substantially in 2001.  This law phases out the estate tax through 2009, with a total repeal in 2010.  Note however that unless the law is changed by a future Congress, the Estate Tax is automatically reinstated in 2011 when the current law sunsets.   Click here to see IRS charts and tables detailing the current estate tax rates and exemptions.

Many clients ask how this new law effects their current Living Trust, or if they have not yet prepared a Living Trust, how it effects the decision whether to do so.  (By the way, if you have not already done so, please read
12 Questions About Living Trusts and their Answers! to ensure you understand how a Living Trust works).

In short, the current Estate Tax law will save some families substantial amounts of estate tax (especially for those who plan to die in 2010!).  However, the basic tenants of Estate Planning—Probate Avoidance and Incapacity Planning—are unchanged. 

Individuals and couples who do not have a living trust should click here for more information.

Individuals and couples who already have a living trust should click
here for more information.  Married couples with a so-called "AB" or "ABC" Trust should also click here for additional important information.

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Kenneth S. Jacobs                          
Attorney at Law
Certified Specialist
Estate Planning, Trust & Probate Law
State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization
117 N. Main Street.  Sebastopol, CA 95472
(707) 829-7303