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.