Car Dealer Insider Oct 1, 2008
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Car Dealer Insider Oct 1, 2008

With a change in administration coming, car dealers should heed advice to review estate plans

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With a change in administration coming, car dealers should heed advice to review estate plans

Here's a wake-up call for car dealers across the country. With the presidential election just weeks away and a guaranteed change at the top, it's essential to get your estate plans in order as soon as possible, says Hugh Roberts, a partner and director with The Rawls Group, a business succession planning firm with dealership clients in 43 states.

Hugh warns that changes, which could make it even more difficult for high net worth estates to protect themselves from estate taxes, may be coming — and no one is more susceptible to those changes than automotive retailers.

From an estate tax perspective, Hugh Roberts, a partner and director with The Rawls Group, has been pushing the message that a change in estate taxes is coming and no one is more susceptible to those changes than automotive retailers.

From an estate tax perspective, Hugh, like most financial experts, says it doesn't really matter who wins the White House. The country is in too much debt for Congress to let the "death tax," scheduled to be repealed for 2010, permanently disappear. In fact, both presidential candidates agree it shouldn't be fully repealed.

Republican John McCain favors a 15 percent tax rate and raising the individual exemption to $5 million ($10 million per married couple), but "he'd have to win and have the Republicans sweep the House and Senate, and have them all go along with it despite the deficit," says Hugh. Democrat Barack Obama proposes freezing the estate tax at 2009 levels: a $3.5 million exemption ($7 million for married couples) and a 45 percent rate - better than 2001 but still not enough to leave larger dealers unscathed.

An even more urgent reason to get moving on your estate-tax planning strategies: additional tax law scrutiny, including the possible elimination of some favorable estate planning strategies, could be around the corner after the inauguration dust settles, says... (316 of 1262 words)

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