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Money Buzz 9/01

The consequences of the new estate tax law and the benefits of syndicated lending

This story appears in the September 2001 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

To ensure your wealth transfer goes as smoothly as possible, be sure to address the changes wrought by the new estate tax law. One change, for example, calls for the repeal in 2004 of the provision allowing owners of closely held businesses to exclude roughly $600,000 from the value of their estates. "If a business owner has that provision in his or her will and it's not taken out at the appropriate time, it could really complicate things," says estate tax specialist Jonathan G. Blattmachr, a partner with New York City-based Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP.

Estate planners now have to provide for a variety of scenarios in a client's will or trust, including near-term decreasing rates and increasing exemptions, the 2010 elimination of the estate tax, and the 2011 reversion to the current system. And they'll likely have to revise it again in 10 years. "I guarantee the law will not stay as it's currently written," says Blattmachr. "So it's going to be a very difficult juggling act."

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