Richer millionaires who are more likely to pay estate taxes tend to feel a little better about the taxes than lower-tier millionaires do.
Researchers at Hartford Financial Services Group Inc., Hartford, have released figures supporting that conclusion in a compilation of results from a recent survey of 750 members of households with annual incomes of $150,000 or more and at least $1 million in total assets.
The asset minimum includes real estate as well as financial assets.
About 37% of the millionaires surveyed said they had not taken any steps to plan their estates, and about 24% of the participants with $5 million or more in assets said they have not even written a will.
Current federal law calls for the estate tax to vanish in 2010 and return to high 2001 levels in 2011.
Only 8.5% of the survey participants expect to see permanent estate tax repeal, and 18% expect to see exemptions rise to $3.5 million per person, from $2 million today. About 53% expect to see no change in the federal estate tax exemption.