15 June 2010

Hey grandma! Keel over already!

Will your wealthy American relative to start pushing up daisies this year? Because this could mean a truckload of money for you.

"Ripped from the headlines" TV show Law & Order had a good episode this year in an otherwise dismal year. Plot: a very expensive private clinic specialising in alternative treatment to chemotherapy is being investigated as it seems to hasten the death of wealthy cancer sufferers. When older cases are unearthed, the prosecution sees it doesn't have a case because the clinic has indeed prolonged the life of many patients.  And then someone goes "wait a minute", 2009 patients' lives were prolonged but not the lives of 2010 patients. And everybody screams DEATH TAX!

As in there is none. For this year only. In 2009 the death tax exclusion was of 3.5 million and it will shrink to one million in 2011, but the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 "sunsets" in 2010 which means private clinics across the US won't see their respiratos depreciate too much this year. 

These are great days to be rich. According to the NYT:

"The United States enacted an estate tax in 1916, and when John D. Rockefeller, America’s first billionaire, died in 1937, his estate paid 70 percent. Since then, the rates have fluctuated, but this is the first time the tax has been repealed altogether."

Texas oil tycoon Dan L. Duncan passed away last month leaving his children nine billion dollars, tax free. Talk about Christmas arriving early. Read more about it in the NYT article above.

Note: We at Comrade Bingo value life and hope you will understand the above is half tongue-in-cheek. Half because we are persuaded real cases of hastened deaths will turn up.

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