Post-Mortem Estate Planning and Elections

If one has a sophisticated understanding of the intricacies of estate tax, it is possible through post-mortem planning to substantially “revise” the decedent’s Will to either correct errors or simply to take advantage of events that are present at the decedent’s death.  This can be done through various elections, the most significant of which involves the use of “disclaimers” which can generate substantial tax savings. There are many other opportunities for tax-reduction in the estate planning process, including the QTIP election, the appropriate allocation of generation-skipping exemptions and the deduction of estate administration expenses. In addition, the interrelationship among the federal estate tax, the new Maryland estate tax and the Maryland inheritance tax provide opportunities for tax savings in the administration process. These decisions can have significant tax-savings and ramifications for generations beyond the decedent’s death.

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