The impact of last week’s tax accord in Congress -- officially known as the American Tax Relief Act of 2012 -- is likely to be far wider and more complex than many have imagined. And many of these complexities will directly impact financial advisors.  

What makes this deal such a game changer? A lot of it comes down to the estate tax. Few, if any, clients believed we’d ever have a permanent $5 million exemption. But not only is that exemption now permanent, it is also inflation-adjusted and portable -- that is, a widow or widower may be able to use the estate tax exemption of the spouse who dies first.

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