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My grandfather recently passed away. He worked hard, lived frugally and wound up dying with an estate we're figuring was about $4 million. He left it to us grandkids. It seems that between state and federal taxes, his estate will be owing $2 million?! (first 2 million is exempt from federal tax, then, what, almost 1/2 to the gov't, and the state doesn't have the higher exemption and because we aren't kids or spouse there's a higher tax rate winding up to add up to something just a little shy of another million?

IS that the way things are? or was he foolish? he didn't like lawyers and their hourly rate / wind up to higher bills so that may be why he never went to one about estate planning. and his accountant may or may not have said anything.

seems like job security for lawyers - either pay the estate tax or pay a lawyer to protect your assetts? The lesser of 2 evils? and who makes laws - lawyers so when they get back into private practice, they have ensured work for the industry.

is the person paying millions in estate taxes the norm or exception?
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