Death and Taxes

July 21, 2010

Among the many stories surrounding the death last week of New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner were several noting that his heirs may save somewhere in the neighborhood of $500 million due to the 2010 absence of the federal estate tax.

I am far from an expert tax attorney, but I remembered hearing something previously about a one-year repeal of the federal estate tax and decided to look for an explanation.  Researching tax issues can be quite difficult and intimidating.  There is a wealth of primary law to contend with, including the Internal Revenue Code, vast oceans of Treasury Regulations and IRS rulings, and of course a large body of case law.

I began where I often suggest that callers begin their tax research: secondary sources.

On Westlaw.com, Taxation – Law Reviews, Texts & Bar Journals (TX-TP) brings many tax-centric secondary sources together in one database.  A quick search in that database for TI(“ESTATE TAX” & 2010) returns 11 documents, many of which are quite helpful in explaining the one-year repeal of the estate tax and its ramifications.

Those of you using WestlawNext can access the Topics tab on the home page, click “Tax,” then “All Tax Secondary Sources.”  A search for estate tax repeal returns a large number of results, but there appear to be many helpful documents among the first few results.



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