Sunday, January 13, 2013

On Inherited Wealth

Someone please explain to me why being a member of the lucky sperm club should entitle someone to a billion dollars when their parents shuffle off this mortal coil.

I am a proponent of a 90% inheritance tax rate for all estates with a value in excess of $10,000,000. I would allow for a few exceptions.

  1. Any family member or friend shall be allowed to inherit such art collections as have been amassed free of inheritance tax. No, T-Bills do not count as art, nor does currency.
  2. The family home(s) and their contents, along with such money as would be needed to reasonably pay property taxes for 10 years may pass tax free as long as only ONE home goes to any one person.
  3. Minor and young adult children should be cared for in a reasonable way. Meaning that you can set up education funds and such but you cannot put $100,000,000 into a college fund and then say that they can have any that they don't spend on college as a way to dodge the tax collector.
  4. It would be possible to allow for the creation of a bona fide charitable foundation that will hold the bulk of an estate and family members may be board members or employees of the foundation but they are not to be allowed to derive any substantial income as a result of being on the board and any salary and benefits as a result of being an employee must be in line those provided by other similar foundations. This foundation must distribute at minimum 3%  of its holdings each year and none of that money may go to organizations that substantially benefit any of the people named  in the will or that would have reasonably named in the will if someone tries to get tricky and just set up the foundation without naming individuals.

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