Streinbrenner Shrugged. The Boss’s Death in 2010 Deprived the Government $600 million.

December 2nd, 2010

I have previously blogged about Steinbrenner Shrugged. More from via Freakonomics:

[George] Steinbrenner was worth an estimated $1.5 billion, meaning his heirs could save as much as $600 million in taxes because he died this year. Steinbrenner’s wealth — mostly consisting of the Yankees, a new stadium and a regional cable network — could pass to his wife tax-free even if the estate tax were in effect, but this year she might have an incentive to disclaim (or turn down) any bequest, which would allow the assets to pass to Steinbrenner’s four children free of federal tax. (But, as theProbate Lawyer Blog points out, Steinbrenner’s family would have to pay a huge capital gains tax if it were to sell any highly appreciated assets, since along with the disappearance of the estate tax, there is no “step-up” in the cost basis of inherited assets during 2010.)

Dubner quips:

Question: this being December, with a January to follow that may see an entirely different estate-tax law, might there be some surprising death activity this month among the wealthiest American families?

I wonder?