Trusts & Estates

read
Trusts & Estates

Federal Estate Tax Portability: If the Death Tax is Dead, What’s the Point of Estate Planning?

by Matthew T. McClintock, JD | VP of Legal Education, WealthCounsel

If the death tax is dead, what’s the point of estate planning?

Beyond the $5,000,000 inflation-adjusting estate tax exemption, one of the most taxpayer-friendly aspects of the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (ATRA) is a concept referred to as “portability.” A temporary feature under the previous tax act, estate tax exemption portability became a permanent fixture under ATRA. What is it? How does it work? Why should you care?

It’s essential to remember, however, that portability does not happen automatically. While federal law allows a surviving spouse to claim their deceased spouse’s unused federal exemption and add it to the surviving spouse’s own exemption (referred to as the DSUE amount, or “Deceased Spouse’s Unused Exemption amount”), the surviving spouse must claim the DSUE amount as an election on a timely-filed federal estate tax return. If no return is filed, then the survivor loses their spouse’s unused estate tax exemption.

Please complete the form below to download this WealthCounsel Thought Paper to learn more.


Complete the form to get your free guide

Related Resources

Tax cheat sheet lp
read
Trusts & Estates

2021 Tax Cheat Sheets for Clients and Prospects

Download our free tax filing cheat sheets to give to your clients and prospects.

Learn More
Gift Trust IRT 1 thumbnail
read
Trusts & Estates

gifIrrevocable Trust Gifting Trust Sample

Download our Irrevocable Trust Gifting Trust Sample and see how Wealth Docx(R) makes drafting gift trusts simple.

Learn More
TP Tax Reform Analysis 2017 thumbnail
read
Trusts & Estates

Tax Reform is Here: What You Need to Know to Advise Your Clients

The 2017 tax reform package is the most significant change to tax law in a generation. Find out what it means for estate planning and business clients in this in-depth thought paper.

Learn More

Get the Premier Magazine for Industry Thought Leaders