Question 12

12.  If you own assets jointly, have you taken advantage of both of your unified tax credits?

    Most married couples in America own their assets jointly. What almost all of these couples don't realize that if they have built up a combined marital estate of $1,000,000 or more the family can be hit with up to hundreds of thousands of dollars in federal estate taxes - due in cash nine months after the death of the surviving spouse. This results from the first spouse leaving everything outright to the surviving spouse via will or joint tenancy utilizing what is called the unlimited marital deduction. The deceased spouse has lost the opportunity of sheltering up to $1,000,000 assets from federal estate taxes. When these assets are combined with that of the surviving spouse-tax disaster can occur. For example if the surviving spouse later dies with an estate of over $1,000,000, the federal estate taxes will take a massive bite of hundreds of thousands of dollars. Every cent of federal estate taxes for a couple with a combined marital estate of $2,000,000 can be saved. Do a sound estate plan with a team of professionals and save every dollar that you worked so hard for.

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