marital deduction

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marital deduction

n. when one spouse dies, the survivor may take a tax deduction of half of the value of the estate of the dying spouse. Thus, the minimum value of the estate before there is a possible federal estate tax rises from $600,000 to $1,200,000 at the death of the first spouse to die. In trusts which a married couple creates, they can agree that on the death of the first to go, the amount of the property which is given to the survivor is limited to the amount which will not be subject to federal estate tax, thus delaying some or all estate tax until the death of the surviving spouse. Such trust provisions should be written only by an attorney and with consultation with an accountant or financial adviser. (See: community property, estate tax, trust)

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For law students, this text explains estate and gift taxation in the US, covering basic topics in the transfer tax system, such as the computation of estate, gift, and generation-skipping transfer taxes; the gift tax annual exclusion; the estate and gift tax marital deductions; and the estate and gift tax implications of transfers which retain powers or interests.
Beginning with an overview of the major sections of estate planning practice, the volume covers ethics in estate planning, establishing attorney-client relationships, wills, trusts, transfer taxes, non-taxable gifts, credit shelter trusts, marital deductions, irrevocable life insurance trusts, elder law, Medicaid, guardianships, estate administration, and will caveats.
(7) (But see Q 850.) As to gifts made on or before that date, such a credit may be taken, but the credit cannot exceed an amount which bears the same ratio to the estate tax actually paid as the value of the gift (at time of gift or at time of death, whichever is lower) bears to the value of the gross estate minus charitable and marital deductions allowed.
If desired, the renewal commissions can be made to qualify for the marital deduction. For example, the value of the commissions will qualify for the marital deduction if all commissions are payable to the surviving spouse during her lifetime, and to her estate at her death.
Charitable and marital deductions are then subtracted from the adjusted gross estate to determine the taxable estate.
What deductions will be taken from your estate (e.g., administration costs and marital deductions)?
The IRS has a tendency to expand the decision in Procter to disqualify marital deductions and charitable trusts, and to assess additional gift tax on intrafamily transfers.
* Marital deductions. Beneficiaries may use a disclaimer to make maximum use of a surviving spouse's marital deduction.
Exploring all legislation and regulation in this complex, changing area of taxation, this book covers key topics including: deathbed transfers, charitable trusts, valuation, gifts to minors, unified credit, jointly-held property, proceeds of life insurance, qualified domestic trusts, marital deductions, common disaster provisions, powers of appointment, etc.
Editorial carries analysis of both the income and transfer tax principles, both of which include the "Repeal" changes in the IRS Code made by EGTRRA, as well as sample clauses for equalization-of-rates marital deductions, zero-tax marital deducations, generation-skipping exemptions, and surtax avoidance plans.
If all three tests are met, the interest will not qualify for the marital deduction.
Also this month, the ALI-ABA (Philadelphia, PA) published A Practical Guide to Drafting Marital Deduction Trusts, a hardbound book that explains more than 150 common tax and non-tax issues attorneys may need to consider when drafting and funding marital deduction trusts for federal estate tax purposes.