Tax Guru – Ker$tetter Letter

Helping real people win the tax game.

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Archive for April 8th, 2002

Posted by taxguru on April 8, 2002

Let the Squabbling Begin

For obvious reasons, estate planning has become a larger part of my practice each year. People think I am exaggerating when I tell them some of the horror stories of poor planning I have seen. I explain that even Hollywood, with all of its imagination and stereotypes, has yet to adequately capture the greed and hatred that comes out when heirs and wannabe heirs fight over an estate. It is truly vicious.

Some people hope to avoid any bickering over their estates by leaving everything to charity. That’s probably what Vermont resident Edna Louise Holt thought when she was anticipating her demise, which came in 1998. She left her entire $25 million estate to her home town of Grafton, VT. And, as could be expected, there has been nonstop fighting among the 600 residents over how to use that money ever since. It may be a cliche; but it is true that money brings out the worst in people.

It really is impossible to anticipate everything that could go wrong. I wish I had the magic formula for how to avoid this kind of thing; but at least think long & hard about what could be the consequences of your estate decisions. Of course, there may be those who would relish the idea of everyone fighting over their things, sort of like tossing a stink bomb into a party.

KMK

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Posted by taxguru on April 8, 2002

Replacing the Income Tax?

For obvious reasons, stories about replacing the income tax system with a consumption or sales tax are prevalent this time of year. Here’s a good one from Bruce Bartlett.

It may surprise some newcomers that I, who have made a very lucrative career out of playing the tax game, believe that it is far beyond repair and should be completely killed. A national sales tax would be the least repulsive alternative.

A flat tax, the other main alternative being promoted, would make almost no difference because there would still be millions of pages of code describing how to arrive at the taxable income amounts.

KMK

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Posted by taxguru on April 8, 2002

Big Surprise – Not

Is it news to anyone that Queen Hillary sets new records for high taxes and support of bigger government? Thanks again to the voters of New York for allowing her to have this opportunity. Please remember this as she continues her run for a third term in the White House.

KMK

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Posted by taxguru on April 8, 2002

What Would You Do For Money?

Like one of the reality TV shows that push the limits on what disgusting things people will do for money, this lady actually dug through her dog’s turds to recover enough pieces of two $100 bills to be provided with two new ones. I’m not sure if I ever want to be that desperate.

KMK

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