Representatives of the life insurance industry are praising the tax agreement signed by President
After months of negotiating,
In addition to the estate tax increase, the last-minute agreement passed by
Obama had proposed raising estate taxes to 45% of over
"This was a big issue for us," Morton said. "We think our members will be pleased with the permanence of the estate tax going forward. We have been working to ensure that we do not continue to see the up-and-down rates that have been an ongoing issue in recent years."
The tax agreement includes provisions that will continue the unified estate and federal gift tax credits. Morton said the combination of those two credits enables clients who are planning for the succession of their business after they die to transfer assets during life and not just death. The agreement also allows for "portability" of the
"Those were big questions, in terms of business succession planning," Morton said. "We have been working with members [of
The life insurance industry has been a vocal advocate of increasing the estate tax and lowering the exemption.
A higher estate tax rate makes it more likely that estate planners will turn to life insurance to help alleviate the additional financial burden.
Obama and House Speaker Boehner and other congressional leaders have engaged in a highly public battle over how to raise taxes and cut government spending to lower the federal government's
The fiscal cliff scenario grew out of last year's partisan impasse over whether to increase the nation's borrowing authority. Congressional Republicans agreed to raise the debt ceiling in exchange for the promise of future budget cuts. To keep the pressure on
The estate tax, one of those that had been set to expire, had become a point of contention between Democrats and Republicans in the fiscal cliff negotiations (Best's News Service,
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