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By: Scott Grossman on March 5th, 2018

5 Facts About Estate Tax, Portability, And CA Estate Administration

With the passage of the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, executors and estate administrators in California must now add yet another duty to their lists during the administration process. Previously, the vast majority of estates did not require an estate tax filing. For these estates, executors or administrators did not have to worry about certain tax-related deadlines. Under the new law, however, many more estates will suddenly be faced with the need to pay attention to a tax deadline, even when no estate tax is due.

The following are five tips about Estate Tax, Portability, And CA Estate Administration:

  • Under the Act, the estate tax exemption is portable between spouses. This means that the second spouse to die can take advantage of the estate tax exemption of both spouses.
  • In order to take advantage of this important provision, the executor or administrator must proactively elect the portability exemption. This is done by filing an estate tax return within nine months of the death of the first spouse.
  • Furthermore, executors can apply for a six-month extension on this filing if necessary.
  • Additionally, this provision applies to deaths beginning in 2011 and going forward.
  • Lastly, if portability is not elected, assets left to the surviving spouse will be transferred without tax under the unlimited marital deduction. However, when the second spouse passes away, he or she will only have his or her individual estate tax exemption amount available to shield the estate from tax.

In conclusion, estate tax issues are complex and require the guidance of an experienced professional.


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