Agricultural Economics Department


Date of this Version



Published by the Department of Agricultural Economics, University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Copyright 2010, Regents of the University of Nebraska.


Estate planning is a very important topic for farm families. In 2001, President Bush signed legislation that reduced the Federal Estate Taxes until 2010, when it was reduced to zero. However, in 2011 the Federal Estate Tax will be reinstated, as indicated in the table on the next page. President Obama has proposed a permanent Federal Estate Tax exemption at the 2009 level, but that has not been acted upon by Congress. Other proposals range from a $2 million exemption with a 55 percent top estate tax rate, to a $5 million exemption with a 35 percent top rate.