How Estate Reform May Work
With President-Elect Trump along with Republicans in control of the Senate and the House, it is extremely likely that the estate tax will either be repealed or substantially curtailed. However, Democrats will still have 48 votes in the Senate and it requires the Republicans to have at least 60 votes to overrule any threat of a filibuster.
One way to get around the filibuster is to use the reconciliation rule which requires only a simple majority of the Senate. If they use this option, it does require that any provisions that are passed will sunset after 10 years. This is what happened to the repeal of the estate tax under Second President Bush. The lifetime exemption was increased from 2001 to 2009 and then was unlimited in 2010. But the provision was scheduled to revert back to the old $600,000 exemption in 2011.
Most in Congress are hoping to get a deal without having reconciliation apply, but that will require the Democrats to cooperate and we know how that has worked in the past.
We will keep you posted during the process.