While the major parties slice and dice the estate tax issue for those couples leaving more than $5 million to their heirs, I’d like to share my recent experience in liquidating my brother-in-law’s estate in France.
He left a house, furniture, antiques and paintings and a small bank account to my wife. Under French law, a “notaire” was assigned to his case. She found all his assets, had an appraiser go through the house and helped us list the house for sale. (The house was valued at about the average price of a house in Las Vegas.) Once all these figures were compiled and the house sold, she sent a check to the French government for 45 percent of all the assets. Then she paid outstanding bills and herself. What was left, came to us.
The death tax in France extends to all financial classes and provides a hefty chunk in funding its massive social programs. Because liberals point to France and others as the exemplars of the socialist state, the United States continues to slowly follow in Europe’s tracks.
For us, the experience was a stunning glimpse of where the United States may eventually find itself and how it will eventually be forced to pay for its progressive socialism.