Estate & Trust Blog

Informing and Updating

Second Estate Taxability

So much of estate planning has focused on protection of the "non-taxable threshold" - otherwise known as a "credit shelter trust". In Massachusetts, that trust is usually limited to $1,000,000. In families where the first spouse passed away prior to the increase in the federal estate tax non-taxable threshold, that trust may be substantially larger. In any event, the credit shelter trust is designed to avoid estate tax in the surviving spouse's estate. With that avoidance, however, the assets in that trust retain their tax basis - there is no step-up in basis on assets that are not taxable in the survivor's estate. And in trusts where different QTIP elections have been made for federal a

Forced Filing

"Portability" of a decedent's unused federal estate tax exemption refers to the election to add the exemption of a "first to die" spouse that is not needed to reduce federal estate tax to zero to the surviving spouse's federal exemption. Availing the surviving spouse of this benefit requires the predeceased spouse's executor to file a federal estate tax return, even if the only purpose is to make the portability election. In Matter of Estate of Vose, 2017 0K 3, Case Number: 115424 (Okla. January 17, 2017) the Oklahoma Supreme Court recognized the surviving spouse's ability to force the executor of the predeceased spouse's estate to file a federal estate tax return to make the portability el

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