Federal tax legislation always had a certain fascination and enjoyment for me probably, in part, because I cut my teeth in publishing working on the old Prentice Hall loose-leaf tax services. For a period of time, I was the head of the federal tax department and it was not uncommon, when a major piece of tax legislation came down, to work 30 days straight on it to get out a Complete Guide to tax practitioners. I was tremendously proud of my co-workers' efforts and that IRS also purchased 25,000 copies of the guide.

Well, the excitement is now gone. It started to dissipate with the "Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001," which repeals the federal estate tax in 2010 and reinstates it in 2011. At the time, I was told tongue-in- cheek by more then one tax practitioner that "Some advisors are having clients sign a living will where the plug will get pulled five minutes before the end of 2010."

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