Exemption portability: Should you rely on it?
Abstract: One of the significant changes under the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 was to make estate tax exemption “portability” permanent. When one spouse dies, portability allows the surviving spouse to use the deceased spouse’s unused exemption amount. Portability simplifies estate planning, but, for many people, particularly the affluent, more-sophisticated strategies continue to offer significant benefits. This article takes a look at credit shelter trusts, with a sidebar offering a specific example.