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Timing of Steinbrenner death could save heirs millions

New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner was all about revenue streams. Looks like his family could be the beneficiary of his largest one.

With his death at age 80 on Tuesday, Steinbrenner likely saved his family millions in estate taxes. Due to Congressional dallying, the estate tax expired this year.

Were it still in place, it could have cost Steinbrenner’s family 45 percent of the value of his estate, which Forbes values at $1.15 billion. The estate tax is scheduled to return next year at a whopping 55 percent.

“Even though we’ve not been advising people to die in 2010, or commit suicide in 2010, there’s no estate tax,” said Martin Press, a tax lawyer with the Gunster law firm in Fort Lauderdale.

“There has been some talk about bringing back the estate tax this year on a retroactive basis,” Press said, “but if that happens, there’s going to be all sorts of litigation.”

Estate taxes have been a huge burden for heirs. After original Miami Dolphins owner Joe Robbie died in 1990, his family was forced to sell the team because of a $47 million estate tax bill.

Categories: MLB (110), Sports Team Owners (49)

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About the author
CRAIG DAVIS In more than 33 years at the Sun Sentinel, Craig Davis has written about a wide variety of sports topics from baseball to yachting, fishing to triathlons, and also worked as a copy editor and page designer. Recently he reported on local sports, including running, swimming, cycling, equestrian and beach volleyball. He enjoys sports as a participant as well as a spectator, is active in the South Florida running scene plays in the curling club at Saveology Iceplex. This blog offers a glimpse at the business side of sports in the interest of enhancing enjoyment of the games and sporting options as a spectator as well as a participant.
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