To the surprise of most estate planning practitioners, the arrival of January 1, 2010 brought with it a federal estate tax repeal. Congress was unable to compromise prior to year end on legislation that would have either maintained the status quo ($3.5 million applicable exclusion amount and a 45% estate tax rate) or implemented new

Repeal of the federal estate tax in 2010 – once unthinkable – now appears likely. While the House of Representatives passed a permanent extension of the estate tax in early December, the Senate has been unable to pass a temporary or permanent extension, or anything else related to the estate tax, as Congress rushes toward