I’m going to go out on a limb and say that the estate tax rate will ultimately reset a little higher than 35% and the exemption amount will come in lower than $5 million. Seems like the $5 million and 35% are just too good to be true (now this is just my gut). Obviously I could be wrong, but my feeling is that Obama and the Senate built in a “bone” to throw at the House, so that when they reduce the bill’s exemption amount and raise its rate they will look like fighters to their constituents.
Take a look at the “tea leaves” quote from Fareed Zakaria in a recent CNN interview. He said, “I think, in the end, [Obama will] get through the broad outline of the deal that he's struck with the Republicans. I think that there will be some changes, but I don't think they'll affect the broad outline. At least that's my sense right now.” The CNN interview can be read in full at http://bit.ly/gwupHz.
--Attorney David M. Grant