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George Steinbrenner’s Death Proves 2010 is a Good Year to Die

Heirs Are in Luck: Yankees Billionaire Avoids Federal Estate Tax

Legendary Yankees owner and billionaire, George Steinbrenner, may have died at the right time. He passed away at a time when Congress allowed the federal estate tax to lapse. This benefits Steinbrenner’s heirs and saves them hundreds of millions of dollars. He is the third billionaire to die this year and avoid the federal estate tax, resulting in a huge loss of money to the U.S. government.

The estate tax dates back to 1916. The rates have always fluctuated, but this is the first year the tax was completely repealed. If Steinbrenner had died in 2009, his heirs would have faced a 45 percent federal tax on assets over $3.5 million. If he died in 2011, the rate would have gone up to 55 percent.

“This truly was the best time to die, given the fact that Steinbrenner’s personal wealth is estimated to be around $1.15 billion, according to Forbes,” said Tully Rinckey PLLC Estate Planning attorney.

The Steinbrenner’s are also in luck since they will be able to avoid what happened to Chicago Cubs owner P.K. Wrigley when he died in 1977. Wrigley’s family had to sell the Cubs to the Tribune Company four years later to pay taxes on his estate. This also happened to Miami Dolphins owner, Joe Robbie, when he passed away.


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