Well-to-do investors can blame Congress for having to hit the pause button on planning that could save their families a bundle on estate taxes.
Tax policy is intrinsically tied to the Republicans' health-care bill, as the plan to undo Obamacare provides high-income earners with a package of tax cuts, including repeal of the 3.8 percent net investment income tax.
That means wealthy families are stuck in a holding pattern for estate planning as Washington tackles its impasse on the tax code overhaul.
"You want to tell people that here is what they need to do and here's the law," said Charlie Douglas, partner and director of wealth planning at Cedar Rowe Partners in Atlanta. "How do you tell them with any certitude? We don't know what it will be next year; it's a moving target."
"People of wealth are waiting for more predictability," he said.