Ticket #1976 (new task)

Opened 6 years ago

2012 Estate Tax Exemption

Reported by: GilbertoRabin Owned by: eskil
Priority: minor Milestone: Version 1.0
Component: Unknown/Unsure Version: 0.9.3
Severity: Must Have Keywords:
Cc: Fixed in Version: 0.9.827


An estate tax is a specific form of taxation that is applied to your right of transferring property after your death. Estate tax exemptions are not commonly made for simple estates (cash, equity, securities, etc) but for larger gross assets and taxable assets.
On December 17th 2010 President Barack Obama signed the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act. What this law did was sweepingly change the rules that governed estate taxes regulated by federal organizations, taxes on gifts, and transfer taxes (generation-skipping) for the 2010-2012 time period. This had a direct effect on the estates of decedents who passed or will pass in 2011 and 2012, respectively.
One of the major changes this new law set into motion was its offering of federal 2011 and 2012 estate tax exemption between couples who are married. In previous years (meaning 2009 and anything before), couples who were married could take a "pass" on the federal governments estate taxation exemption by the inclusion of either AB or ABC trusts within their specific plans for their estates. What TRA 2010 did was get rid of the need for the planning of AB and ABC trusts for federal estate taxes. The law accomplished this by allowing couples who are married the option to add any portion that is unused in the 2011 or 2012 estate tax exemption of the first deceased spouse to the surviving spouse's 2011 or 2012 estate tax exemption. What this does is effectively create the ability of a spouse to transfer up to ten million dollars of theirs on to their heir(s) without any form of estate planning. Although, it's important to note that the surviving heir needs to file the appropriate form(s) with the IRS in order to receive their deceased spouse's 2012 estate tax exemption. It is furthermore important to note that this portability is only in effect for the 2011 and 2012 tax years, and also that any states that collect estate taxes will still be owed those payments.
There are no states that currently collect their own estate tax that have applied the portability clauses between spouses to their specific estate taxation laws. Even though portability will most likely be relied on in the states that don't currently collect their own estate taxes, AB and ABC planning may possibly still be required in the states that do collect their own estate taxes. This particularly applies to states where couples have large estates, where the estate tax exemption is overall less than the federal exemption, and also in states where the law allows for a detached QTIP election.

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