Alexandria, VA Estate Planning Blog

Thursday, December 1, 2011

The Nonsensical "Sensible Estate Tax Act of 2011"


Jim McDermott “Sensible Estate Tax Act of 2011” H.R. 3467

In a brilliant expression of populist demagoguery, Senator Bill McDermott introduced a bill that would impose the estate tax on estates that exceed 1 million dollars. The maximum rate of taxation would be 55%. Considering our massive federal and state debts, global economic turmoil and massive global protests railing against the inseparable principals of liberty and the free-market, we are certainly living in scary and uncertain times.

Whenever a politician hides his proposed legislation behind the façade of “sensibility”, the assumption should be that the legislation lacks sensibility. The “Sensible Estate Tax Act”, while being sold as being a tax on the nefarious rich, is actually a tax on middleclass Americans. Its really a revenue raising scheme targeting the federal middle class and designed to increase the political purchasing power of politicians seeking to win over local constituents.

Notwithstanding the difficulties in the current real estate and financial markets, its very easy for an average middleclass northern Virginian married couple to have 1 million dollars in estate assets. The average reader of this article may scoff at the idea that they should be concerned about the estate tax.

But consider the following generic examples:

Elderly Couple

500k       Personal Residence

400k       Husband’s Retirement Benefits

400k       Wife’s Retirement Benefits

300k       Stocks and Bonds

50k         Personal Property

50k         Automobiles/ RVS 

 Total Estate: 1.7 million                

Amount Subject to Estate Tax: 700k


Young Couple

300k       Personal Residence

100k       Husband’s Retirement Benefits

100k       Wife’s Retirement Benefits

50k         Personal Property

50k         Automobiles/ RVS 

800k       Term Life insurance

 Total Estate: 1.4 million                

Amount Subject to Estate Tax: 400k

As illustrated above, it doesn’t take very much for a person to have a million dollars worth of estate assets in our current market. The continuing inflationary nature of our monetary policy, coupled with the fancifully utopian inflationary rate promulgated by our government, greatly increases the likelihood that the purchasing power of a dollar will continue to decrease. Consequently, people will become poorer while there ultimate estate value will increase. With a 1 million dollar estate tax credit, the result can be significant on the upper middleclass.

To learn more, contact our office today for a free consultation.




Luke Lenzi, Esq.     



Archived Posts


The Lenzi Law Firm, PLLC assists clients throughout Northern Virginia and Washington D.C. including Fort Washington, Falls Church, Ft. Myer, Vienna, Rosslyn, Springfield, Mount Vernon, Annandale, Fort Belvoir, Fairfax, Dunn Loring, Merrifield, McLean, Oakton, Reston, Burke, Great Falls, Fredericksburg, Stafford and Herndon in Arlington County, Alexandria County, & Fairfax County.

© 2021 The Lenzi Law Firm, PLLC | Disclaimer
2800 Eisenhower Ave , Suite 220, Alexandria, VA 22314
| Phone: 703.224.8969

Asset Protection | Estate Planning | Last Will & Testaments | Non-Traditional Estate Planning | Estate Tax Planning | Trusts & Estate Planning | Elder Law | Special Needs Planning | Medicaid Planning | Guardianships (General) | Guardianships for Seniors | Planning for Children | Probate / Estate Administration | | Multiple Locations

Linked-In Personal

Attorney Website Design by
Amicus Creative