Due to the federal estate tax exemption “portability” provision for married couples, some estate planners say that the bypass trust, previously a staple of estate planning, has been rendered obsolete. Portability was permanently extended by the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (ATRA).
Strategy: Don’t junk the bypass trust concept just yet. These arrangements still offer significant advantages.
A tale of two tax breaks: In the past, wealthy individuals often reduced their exposure to federal estate tax liability by combining two tax breaks.
- The unlimited marital deduction: As a general rule, any transfer between spouses, whether it is made during one’s lifetime or upon death, is completely exempt from federal estate and gift taxes.
- Estate tax exemption: Transfers to a nonspouse beneficiary may be sheltered by the federal estate tax exemption. Under ATRA, the exemption amount is $5 million adjusted for inflation ...(register to read more)