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The estate of Al Davis is instructive case

The estate tax is something that is not fully understood by a lot of people, but when you find out the facts you can't help but be a bit taken aback by just how harsh it can be.

At the present time the maximum rate of the estate tax is 35% and the exclusion is $5.12 million. These figures are in place due to a tax relief measure that was passed at the end of 2010. This piece of legislation is going to sunset at the end of this year. When it does, the estate tax rate is going up to 55%, and the exclusion is going down to just $1 million.

If you were to own a piece of property that was worth more than the estate tax exclusion your family may be forced to sell that property just to pay the estate tax. This was a factor recently when the owner of the Oakland Raiders football franchise Al Davis passed away.

According to Forbes, the Raiders are valued at well over $700 million. Davis is said to have died owning 47% of the club. Because of the huge estate tax bill that would be presented many observers assumed that the Davis estate would have to sell the Raiders.

In fact, due to intelligent estate planning Al Davis was able to keep the Raiders in the family. His surviving spouse and only son are running the ball club.

The veteran might also have special luxuries available to him in order to turn the tide in the estate tax battle.

The estate tax can truly play havoc with your legacy. There are however steps that you can take to mitigate or eliminate your exposure. If you would like to explore them, simply pick up the phone to arrange for a consultation with a good Redlands CA estate planning lawyer.

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