The Association for Advanced Life Underwriting is welcoming the decision by Senate Majority Leader William Frist to delay debate on permanent estate tax repeal.[@@]
Frist, a Republican, originally had hoped to begin floor debate on repeal Tuesday, but he put off discussion of that effort indefinitely to give the Senate more time to address the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
The Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 is phasing out the estate tax, but the tax is supposed to snap back into action in 2011 unless a new law cancels the tax permanently. This year, an estate has to have a value of at least $1.5 million before federal estate taxes will kick in.
Many life insurers and life agents specialize in helping wealthy clients avoid estate taxes, and the AALU, Falls Church, Va., has argued in favor of increasing the exemption rather than repealing the tax altogether.