I read in the New York Post that Jerry Della Femina sold his home for a mere $25 million in 2012 because he was worried about having to pay more taxes in 2013. Considering that he bought it for $3 million, tried to sell it at $40 million and it sat on the market for a long time, we think he’s just doing what Jerry has always done best - making himself the center of attention. That’s what ad guys do, and did long before Mad Men made doing so a retro-cool sort of thing.
For the very wealthiest Americans or those conducting multi-million home sales, yes, taxes in 2013 are likely to take a bigger bite. The sale of a $25 million property in 2013 will probably cost the seller $50,000 more in taxes than it would in 2012.
But regardless of what does or does not happen, planning opportunities are always present. Always have been, always will be. When a total overhaul of the tax laws took place in 1981, planning thrived. The same held true when large-scale changes were made in 1986, in 1997 and 2001.
So when the dust settles at last my esteemed colleagues in the estate planning bar and I will sharpen our wits and our pencils and report on what planning opportunities the new tax laws will bring.