3 ways to beat rising tax rates

In this troubled economy, some tax rate hikes are likely by the end of the year. Here's what to do now to cushion the blow.

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Prepare for estate taxes to rise from the grave
Prepare for estate taxes to rise from the grave
The battle: Unless Congress acts before Dec. 31, this tax will roar back to life next year for estates worth more than $1 million; the top rate will return to 55% (from 45% in 2009).

Based on current proposals, what's more likely is that the tax will be revived with a starting point of $3.5 million to $5 million, and a top rate between 35% and 45%.

Smart move: If your estate is worth $1 million to $3.5 million, "it's easy to think you're not going to be affected," Adam says. That can be dangerous. She suggests making annual tax-free gifts of $13,000 per person to reduce your estate now.

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Last updated October 14 2010: 12:30 PM ET
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