The reason is that the standard exemption from estate taxation rose to $5 million when President Obama signed a compromise budget bill into law in the last days of 2010. The compromise is, however, set to expire beginning in 2013, resetting the exemption level to $1 million if Congress fails to act.
No tears should be shed, though, for estate and probate practitioners, we are later told in the same article. As the baby boom generation retires and (alas) begins to pass away, probate litigation is increasing at a brisk pace.
Finally, opines the author of the article, "the recession has created more probate litigation since family members are disappointed with their inheritance."