On the death of a taxpayer, a tax may be due on the transfer of wealth to family and others. Exclusions are provided for transfers to the taxpayer's spouse, charities, and so forth. The tax rate for the estate tax can reach as high as 55 percent. A once-in-a-lifetime credit is permitted, which enables you to pass property worth up to $600,000 (and gradually up to $1,000,000 by the year 2006) to others without having to pay an estate tax. This figure is being increases in increments to $1,000,000.
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