Repeal of the estate tax could cost states $50 billion to $100 billion over 10 years, The New York Times reported June 20.
But repeal, enacted by Congress in May, also could generate a lot of business for lawyers and accountants whose advice will be needed by the roughly 17 million Americans with a net worth of $500,000 more to revise their wills and estate plans and avoid being left with far less than they expected, the Times reported June 14.
States could lose revenue, the Times said, because states tie their own estate and inheritance taxes to the federal estate tax. Killing the federal tax could end state death taxes unless governors and lawmakers create new taxes on estates and inheritances, the Times said.
The new law gradually will lower the amount exempt from estate taxes and the tax rate on larger amounts until 2010, when the estate tax is repealed for one year before being reinstated in 2011.
Wealthy Americans will need help from lawyers and accountants to revise their will and estate plans to avoid financial disaster, experts told the Times.