Use It Or Lose It

In the horse trading for tax cuts, Washington may chop two popular estate-planning gems

With tax-cut fever running high, you may be surprised to learn that two popular estate-planning goodies could disappear as early as this fall. For most it won't matter because the $625,000 lifetime exclusion ($1.25 million if married with a bypass trust) and the ability to give as gifts as much as $10,000 per person per year provide adequate shelter from estate-tax rates that can rise to an onerous 55%. But if the bull market has swelled your estate to $1.5 million or more, consider these tax breaks now--before they vanish.

The most likely target is something called a family limited partnership....

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