“Ask Your Attorney” Column

Ask Your Attorney

About Federal Death Tax Increases

Dear Counselor: My parents own and operate a family business which has done well over the years, and now that mom and dad are getting old, they are concerned about the death taxes they might have to pay when they pass away. Is there any difference between what the candidates are saying about their position on taxing estates? Any proposed increases are scary to all of us. What can you tell me?

Dear Client: I was just checking myself. I have to keep up on these things because of the estate planning work our firm does. The answer is actually pretty straightforward. Republicans, including Donald Trump, Sen. Ron Johnson, and Rep. Paul Ryan, support the repeal of estate taxes paid to the IRS because they do not believe that death should be a reason to tax someone (or their estate). They believe that the estate tax is a direct, job-killing, tax on family owned farms and businesses. On the other hand, Democrats, including Hillary Clinton and Russ Feingold, generally support the estate tax. In fact, Hillary Clinton is currently promising an increase in the Federal Estate Tax if she is elected President. I just can’t seem to understand why someone’s estate gets taxed just because they die — maybe it is because they aren’t around to complain anymore ! You can check out the candidates’ positions on line if you wish. But if you want to support the end to the estate tax, you will have to pull the lever this year for Trump, Johnson and Ryan.

John L. Maier, Jr.

For further information contact:
Sweet & Maier, S.C., Attorneys
114 Church St.
Elkhorn, WI 53121