Transfer Taxes and the Fiscal Cliff

If the various constituencies in Washington can’t reach a Grand Bargain before the end of the year, will federal transfer-tax exemptions go over the fiscal cliff? Maybe, says Forbes‘ Deborah Jacobs. But, chances are, the scheduled automatic drop to $1M (which could, theoretically, ensnare a lot of estates) would be corrected retroactively in any eventual deal. Right now, the individual exemption stands at $5.12M, and when one considers that a married couple typically enjoys twice that amount in combined exemptions, it is clear that estate taxes are a non-issue for the overwhelming majority of Americans. At the end of the day, that probably won’t change.