Sunday, July 18, 2010

George Steinbrenner and the Federal Estate Tax

When he died in early July, George Steinbrenner quickly leapfrogged Walter Shorenstein, Glenn Bell, and Dennis Hopper as the most famous beneficiary of the 2010 lapse (unless a new law is made retroactive) in the federal estate tax. 

[More precisely, the beneficiaries of Steinbrenner's estate became the most famous beneficiaries of the current law.]

Steinbrenner's estate, which is variously estimated between a half-billion and 1.1 billion dollars, will pass free of the federal estate tax, although the large portion of his personal wealth stemming from his stock in the Yankees will not receive a step-up in basis (as it would have in prior years) upon transfer to his heirs.

Here's a sampling of some of the commentary and analysis of Steinbrenner and the estate tax:

  • Ruth Marcus at the Washington Post - George Steinbrenner and Estate Tax Insanity (here)
  • Wall Street Journal Editorial Page - How George Steinbrenner Saved His Family a $600 Million Tax Bill (here)
  • Dave Carpenter of the Associated Press - George Steinbrenner's Death Saves Heirs Money (here)
  • Kevin McCormally at Kiplingers - Did 'The Boss' Trump The Ben? (here)
It will be interesting to see whether the increasing number of billionaire beneficiaries of the lapse in the estate tax might prompt Congress to action during the remainder of 2010.