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You did not save just a little money if you are risk of losing 50% to FET. For 2000, the first 675k would escape FET; although I do not know the brackets off the top of my head, they do not start at 50%.

You're right, I believe estate taxes start at 37% (property value > $675K) and max out at 55% (property value > $3 mil)

I wish I had better numbers, but I suspect that way more than 50% of all estates do not have FET issues (and I suspect that the number is north of 80%) and the benficiaries of all those estates do benefit from the step-up in basis.

I forget where I read it, but I think only 2-4% of US estates incur estate taxes. IOW, it's a pretty tiny percentage for the Republicans to get themsleves into such a lather about, especially since some prudent estate planning (trusts & gifting) can pretty much eliminate the tax.

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