Click on the title of this article, above, to see how billionaire Bill Davidson, former owner of the Detroit Pistons, left behind a legacy of headaches for his family when he died in 2009. At the time of his death, he was worth nearly $3 billion. He set up trusts and other estate planning vehicles, but the IRS audited the estate and sent a $2.8 billion (including penalty and interest) deficiency notice anyway. Why? This is likely the biggest estate tax in history. In perspective, the underlying $1.9 billion estate tax bill is more than 10% of the $13 billion the IRS collected from American taxpayers for the entire 2010 tax year!
The IRS never raised a stink about Davidson's self-cancelling installment notes while he was alive. This process allowed beneficiaries a right to own Davidson's assets at death for installment money to Davidson during his life. When he passed, though, the IRS smelled blood and moved in.
Taxes and IRS headaches don't always die with you. If you are facing IRS trouble in a probate or trust situation, call local, licensed, Oklahoma tax lawyer, Travis Watkins at 405-607-1192 in Oklahoma City and Tulsa today.