Bloomberg Business Week has recently reported the Senate Budget Panel has approved a spending plan which includes an assumption of last year’s estate tax exclusion of $3.5 million dollars, as well, last year’s top estate tax rate of 45%, will be reinstated. This is fantastic news for most Americans who don’t have a heck of a lot of money to begin with. Ultimately, it means a majority of people can pass on their estates to their heirs without having to worry about or deal with the estate tax.
Along these same lines—relating to life decisions and estate planning, a recent study in the New England Journal of Medicine, found one in four elder adults need someone else to make decisions for them towards the end of their lives.
The results show the importance and value of people making their wishes known in a living will; and designating someone to make treatment decisions for them.
As the LA Times summed up, “Those who requested limited care at the end of their lives received it most of the time.” The study gathered and utilized data from the long-running Health and Retirement Study, which surveys adults ages 51+, nationwide. It also analyzed data from people aged 60 and older, who passed away between 2000 and 2006, and researchers found of the 398 incapacitated people who had used a living will to request limited care at the end of their lives, almost 83% received it.