But I think I would draw the line at dying early just so they would gain something in the process.
According to the new (not final yet) tax laws: The return of the Death Tax is imminent. This year, there is no death tax. For those dying on or after January 1, 2011, there is a 55 percent top death tax rate on estates over $1 million. A person leaving behind two homes and a retirement account could easily pass along a death tax bill to their loved ones.
So, perhaps you should plan on dying this year, instead of in the future. If something doesn’t happen soon we could see a huge increase before year’s end of suicides, assisted suicides, unplanned suicides, and the killing of rich relatives. Also, we all need to tell our children and other relatives if we do or do not have an estate valued at over $1 million so they don’t begin planning our suicides.
The way the law reads right now, if you die after 2010, the first million of your estate will be untaxed. Everything after that gets taxed at a top rate of 55%.
I am not sure what the yahoos in congress think they are actually gaining here. Looking at the mortality statistics in 2003, of the 2.5 million people who died in this country, just 31,000 (or about 1 percent) left estates that paid any federal tax at all. And only 1 in every 1,000 people who died left an estate in which a family farm or business represented a majority of the assets.
At this rate, I don’t think the Death Tax is going to pay off the national debt any time soon.
I don’t know about you but I’m a bit more selfish too. I’m not dying this year just to avoid a Death Tax.
I have given this some thought and being the unselfish person I am I have come up with some alternatives to being hit with the death tax and/or dying before the end of 2010.
- Never have an estate over $1 million.
- If you think your estate will be taxed, give everything away on December 31, 2010.
- Spend all your money before you die so you can avoid all taxes.
- Stop working as soon as you can and live on Social Security. You won’t get rich that way.
- Sell off all your houses and party with the money you receive from the sale of the property. Your friends will love you and speak good things about you when you are gone.
- Purchase your own island and become the ruling monarchy so you can make your own laws. (Yes, islands are still available for purchase. As a matter of fact, some countries are available for purchase at a really good price.)
- Become involved in a Ponzi scheme and it won’t matter. (Where is Bernie Madoff when you need him?)
- Declare yourself incompetent and let your caregivers have authority to sign checks on your behalf.
- Leave everything in your estate to your beloved bonsai tree to provide for its care and feeding and let congress try to tax the tree. They can’t even get a good board out of that tree.
10. Run for Congress so you can make a difference. You will:
- Use all your money in the political race
- Use all your money defending yourself against whatever charges you are charged with
- Need all your money for bribes and payoffs
11. Become a writer. You can spend all your money without much effort and will get little in return, unless you are some huge success who chose to write about the sex life of slugs as opposed to writing about something people may actually want to read.
It seems that the Congress has finally figured out a way to combine the only two sure things in life – death and taxes. Perhaps they should be the first to try both of these options out – just to make sure they work well.
From the life and mind of:
Wanda M. Argersinger
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