Can billionaires marry their children to avoid Joe Biden’s new estate taxes?

“Biden’s Capital-Gains Tax Plan Would Upend Estate Planning by the Wealthy” (Wall Street Journal, April 29):

President Biden’s American Families Plan would raise capital-gains taxes and end a rule that has been a cornerstone of estate planning for generations of wealthy Americans.

The change—increasing the top capital-gains rate to 43.4% from 23.8% and taxing assets as if sold when someone dies—would upend the tax strategies of the very richest households.

Let’s consider Jack and Jill Billionaire. Jill was the first Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion manager hired by a successful Silicon Valley startup. Her shares in the company, purchased for $1, are now worth $1 billion. Jack and Jill have two children, Morgan and Parker. Jack and Morgan currently identify as male. Jill and Parker currently identify as female.

If Jack and Jill were to die from triple-mutant coronavirus during President Harris’s reign, their children would inherit only around $430 million ($1 billion minus 43.4 percent federal tax minus 13.3 percent California state tax).

The U.S. offers no-fault divorce and same-sex marriage (by Supreme Court ruling). There shouldn’t be any obstacle to Jack and Jill cooperating on a divorce then Jack marrying Morgan and Jill marrying Parker. South Carolina law, for example (from Wikipedia):

(1) A man with his mother, grandmother, daughter, granddaughter, stepmother, sister, grandfather’s wife, son’s wife, grandson’s wife, wife’s mother, wife’s grandmother, wife’s daughter, wife’s granddaughter, brother’s daughter, sister’s daughter, father’s sister or mother’s sister; (2) A woman with her father, grandfather, son, grandson, stepfather, brother, grandmother’s husband, daughter’s husband, granddaughter’s husband, husband’s father, husband’s grandfather, husband’s son, husband’s grandson, brother’s son, sister’s son, father’s brother or mother’s brother.

Jack and Jill might each be able to marry either child if both children identify as some gender that takes them out of the “son” and “daughter” categories.

Now, when the Grim Mutant COVID-19 Reaper comes for Jack and Jill, the kids inherit $1 billion rather than $430 billion.

[What if Jack and Jill have four children rather than two? There is no limit to the number of no-fault divorce lawsuits that an American can file. Jack and Jill can marry and divorce their children in succession, with a tax-free agreed-upon property division after each divorce.]

5 thoughts on “Can billionaires marry their children to avoid Joe Biden’s new estate taxes?

  1. Now you’re giving them ideas. I rate it as “coin flip” possible. Some celebrity family will crash their mothership into Earth, try to popularize it purportedly for Marriage Equality reasons, but really to avoid the taxes, and then everybody from trailer trash to Harry & Meghan will do it. Some people would say that Harry & Meghan aren’t much different from trailer trash except they had a more exclusive patrilineal history.

    Anyone from the Jenner/Kardashian clan listening. Word up, y’all.

    From “Back to the Future” – 1985. Marty wakes up in his mom’s bed, in his underwear, with his pants “…over there….on my hope chest.”

    • And the porn merchants will have an absolute meltdown with, once the first celebrity family tries it. It’s looking more likely by the moment. We all know that if it supports one of America’s growth industries (Porn, Marijuana, Welfare) it’s a lead pipe cinch to happen.

  2. With the rise of polyamory, wouldn’t it raise fewer eyebrows to marry the son-in-law or daughter-in-law instead? After all, that is who will get the tax-free billions after the inevitable divorces.

  3. Marrying 1st descendents is 1 of the forms of marriage which is still illegal. Americans really need to legalize lions marrying humans so some of us can finally collect alimony.

  4. It’s only legal if they have to consummate the marriage on live tv. Welcome to decadent post-imperial America!

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