Shrug. Death to avoid Taxes?

October 31st, 2010

Ben Franklin famously quipped that in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes. Well, what if by dying one could avoid taxes? That would be the ultimate shrug.

A Representative from Wyoming claims that some of her “constituents are so worried about the reinstatement of federal estate taxes that they plan to discontinue dialysis and other life-extending medical treatments so they can die before Dec. 31.”

Take a look at this story from the Wyoming Tribune:

But she said many ranchers and farmers in the state would rather pass along their businesses — “their life’s work” — to their children and grandchildren than see the federal government take a large chunk.

“If you have spent your whole life building a ranch, and you wanted to pass your estate on to your children, and you were 88 years old and on dialysis, and the only thing that was keeping you alive was that dialysis, you might make that same decision,” Lummis told reporters.

The story provides no further details, so I’m not quite sure if I believe it, but this would be one grotesque way to flip Franklin’s maxim.