Our cover this month, “Spirit Unbroken” (40 in. by 30 in.) by Bonnie Marris, sold for $16,100 at the Jackson Hole Art Auction in Jackson, Wyo. on Sept. 15, 2012. Marris, who holds degrees in zoology and animal behavior, has spent her life interacting with and painting wildlife. Speaking about her childhood home, she fondly recalls, “At one time we had two wolves and a three-month-old coyote living with us.” She thus seeks to capture the souls of the animals she depicts to make them jump off of the canvas, like the runaway mustang on our cover, bearing down on the viewer.

As I write this, estate planners are facing a similar inevitability, as the upcoming presidential election careens inextricably towards its conclusion, suddenly lifting the legislative paralysis that’s stricken Washington. Will Congress take action on the litany of estate-planning issues that are currently in flux? Will the Bush-era tax cuts be allowed to sunset? Nobody can be sure of the answers, but, once the election passes, they are likely to come fast and furious. The best we can do is brace for impact.