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Life After the Death Tax

Despite the possible repeal, estate planning attorneys attending their biggest professional conference said they remain optimistic about the need for their services, and see a closer working relationship with financial advisors.

It looks like Republicans will finally act on a promise they’ve been making for nearly a decade: Eliminate the federal estate tax. Will that move sound the death knell for estate planners? No, but some said it may prompt them to move closer to wealth management practitioners as the value of their services evolves.

The agenda for the 51st Heckerling Institute on Estate Planning in Orlando Fla., the largest estate planning conference of the year, was set before the election results came in. Although the notion of an estate tax repeal wasn’t reflected in the seminars themselves, talk of the conference was what the planning world might look like post “death tax.” Overall, most attending the conference were not in panic mode.

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