If you are thinking of being a tax lawyer, you might find this interesting. If you are not thinking of being a tax lawyer, think again.

Take a look at two very interesting articles on inheritance tax and tax reform.

1. “If people begin to get used to the idea of no or low inheritance taxes, it does take a tool out of my toolbox,” said Houston Museum of Fine Arts director Peter Marzio. That tool is the lure of reducing an heir’s tax liability with the deduction that a gift of money or artworks to the museum could provide.

The current [2010] year is an anxious one for museums and all other nonprofit organizations and institutions around the country, since there is no inheritance tax for 2010 because Congress failed to pass legislation to reform the transfer tax system last year.”

Read the full story here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/daniel-grant/estate-tax-law-uncertaint_b_530217.html

” TURNING down an inheritance may seem to be an alien concept. But with the estate tax in flux, this process, called disclaiming, can provide needed flexibility. People who disclaim are generally treated as if they had died before the person from whom they are inheriting. The assets then go to the individual or trust next in line under the estate plan. Or, if the plan makes no such provision, assets are distributed according to state law.

Historically, lawyers have recommended disclaimers to repair estate planning oversights that bring negative tax consequences — as when parents left money to already affluent adult children. In such a case, the children could disclaim, so the inheritance would go their own children instead, rather than facing the possibility that this money might be taxed in their own estates.”

Read the full story here: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/18/your-money/estate-planning/18DISCLAIM.html