A portability election is an election under Internal Revenue Code Section 2010(c)(5)(A) to transfer a decedent’s unused exclusion amount (known as a deceased spousal unused exclusion (DSUE) amount) to the decedent’s surviving spouse. If a portability election has been made, the surviving spouse will have his or her own exclusion amount ($5.34 million in 2014 less certain lifetime gifts) plus the DSUE amount. The surviving spouse can then use the DSUE amount, with some restrictions, with the remaining exclusion amount to make gratuitous transfers during life and at death before being subject to federal gift and estate tax. How is the election made and in what instances should an election be made. Examples are provided.
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