I've been reading a lot of financial websites and blogs lately, including Consumerism Commentary. The blog post for yesterday posed an interesting idea, that changes in estate tax law affect when people die.
The idea is this, when estate taxes are set to increase, people die just before the increase, thereby saving their heirs on their taxes. On the contrary, when estate taxes are set to decrease, they hang on until the decrease comes about, again saving their heirs some real dollars.
So, here's a simple way to increase the life span -- set estate taxes to decrease each year. Eventually, they will go to zero, so then we will need an ever increasing estate tax credit. That means if your relative dies and leaves you money, the government will kick in some more for in a tax credit. I can see the ads now, if Uncle Joe dies, we'll pay you $100. But wait, if he hangs on until next year, you will get $200.
Of course, the estate tax only applies to people who have an estate of over $3.5MILLION, so I'm out of luck. Guess I'll just have to pick another way to schedule my exit...
P.S. I wanted to put something in here about death panels, but couldn't quite figure out how to fit it in... I'm sure one of my commenters will find a way