One of the advantages of working with a Fee-Only financial advisor
is that you have a trusted resource to keep you informed of laws and
regulations that affect your financial planning that you or the other
professionals you consult with (including lawyers) may have overlooked.
An example of this would the changes to laws regarding portability.
In “The Deadline Every Married Person (And Financial Advisor) Needs to Know About,” Forbes columnist Deborah L. Jacobs aims to make sure married couples are aware that:
“Starting for deaths in 2011, and now going forward, they
can carry over the estate tax exemption of the spouse who died most
recently and add it to their own.”
You can give your spouse as much money as you want while you live and
in an estate plan and that money won’t be taxed as long as your spouse
is a U.S. citizen. However, before 2011, it took foresight to make sure
that the first spouse’s tax exemption was not lost when the second
To take advantage of portability, “the executor handling the estate
of the spouse who died must file an estate tax return (Internal Revenue
Service Form 706), even if no tax is due…nine months after death with a
six-month extension allowed.”
How does this play out in real life? A woman wrote to Jacobs asking
for advice because while her father’s estate was “well under $5
million,” her mother’s was likely to be more but her father’s executor
had not filed the estate tax return. The woman wanted to know if there
was any way to recover that advantage or petition the government to
restore her father’s lost tax exemption.
Jacobs points out that while it may seem “unlikely” that one spouse
would have a sizable estate if the first passed away without one, you
really never know what may happen.
Having a Fee-Only financial advisor on hand to help you with estate planning can make a big difference for you and your family.
Disclaimer: Claire does not offer any
financial advice on this website. All information provided on the site
or in this blog is for educational purposes only. Contact Claire or your financial advisor for specific advice that will fit your situation.
Via Clarity Financial Planning, LLC