Deborah Jacobs writes about estate tax portability in Morningstar’s February 2015 Tax Relief Week.  Her article begins as follows:

Tax-law changes that took effect in 2013 could eventually make estate planning much simpler for the 99%. But for the moment, lawyers widely disagree about how best to implement them. And many consumers who recently lost a spouse are at risk of missing out on an important tax break because they aren’t aware of a key deadline.

This is the landscape that has emerged since Congress made permanent a feature introduced on a trial basis for deaths after 2011. Tax geeks dubbed it “portability.” In a nutshell, portability makes it possible for widows and widowers to carry over the estate tax exemption of their deceased spouse (or most recently deceased spouse, in the case of remarriage) and add it to their own. The tax law refers to the sum available for carryover as the “deceased spousal unused exclusion,” or the DSUE amount. Think of it as the tax break that doesn’t die with you.

Read the full article at The Tax Break That Doesn’t Die With You.

 

Posted by Lewis J. Saret, Co-General Editor, Wealth Strategies Journal.