Generally, portability means something that can be moved. For purposes of estate planning, portability means the movement of some or all of one spouse’s unused estate tax to his or her surviving spouse. It may be a significant benefit if the first spouse who dies leaves a significant amount of money to the surviving spouse and thereby increases the size of the surviving spouse’s estate.
Portability Is a Choice
Portability does not automatically apply to a surviving spouse’s estate if there is unused estate tax on the deceased spouse’s estate. Instead, portability must be elected at the time that the first spouse dies. This can be done by having the executor of the first spouse’s estate file IRS Form 706 and elect portability in Part Three.
Portability may be important for some individuals, but it is not the only important estate planning tool. Credit shelter trusts and other estate planning tools may also be important to individual estate plans. There are many factors to consider and it can be difficult to know what to do without considering your options and accounting for your specific circumstances.
If your spouse has died then it could affect your own estate plan. It may be time to consider modifying your estate plan to take into account the change in the federal estate tax that may apply to your estate, or take other actions to make sure that your unique estate planning goals are met. To find out more, please browse our related links and start a live chat with us today. Contact us today to set up a consultation to speak with an attorney to make sure your estate plan meets your needs or sign up to attend one of our free regular seminars on estate planning.