The Massive Confusion of US Estate Taxes - Attorney Seminar to "Enlighten and Depress"

This morning's inbox included the following seminar invitation from the State Bar of Texas:

A Look at the Current State of the Estate Tax: Massive Confusion

Approved for State Bar College Credit and Texas Board of Legal Specialization Credit in Estate Planning & Probate and Tax Law.
Live Via Webcast
Thursday, February 11th
10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.
1 hour MCLE credit

With the failure of Congress to do something with respect to the one-year suspension of the federal estate tax and generation skipping transfer tax and the one-year return of carryover basis, followed by a return to 2000 law, we are in a situation of having no reasonable or rational way to advise our clients. Two experienced lawyers (who remember the original carryover basis and generation skipping transfer tax in the Tax Reform Act of 1976, both of which were repealed) discuss the alternatives in how they and others are dealing with this uncertainty and highlighting some issues that are not immediately apparent and other problems if Congress does nothing before 1/1/2011. A fun filled hour guaranteed to enlighten and depress you simultaneously.

Now, mind you - this is an invitation to legal practioners in the field of estate planning to come and listen to experts in this area discuss "a situation of having no reasonable or rational way to advise our clients."

What's going on here?  Congress didn't act, even to patch things up by passing a bill that said "everything stays as is until we do something else," so some tax laws died - their effective dates passed on December 31st - and now, we're apparently in a huge, fat mess.

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