Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Strategies To Help Non-Citizen Surviving Spouses Reduce Estate Taxes

Estate taxHere are a few strategies that can help non- citizen surviving spouses reduce estate taxes:

  1. maximizing lifetime gifts
  2. using qualified domestic trusts
  3. having the surviving spouse become a citizen

Samantha White of Baker Hostetler suggests that using a special annual exclusion of $145,000 for a gift given during the lifetime to non-citizen spouses can help shift assets without tax liabilities. Additionally, the surviving non-citizen can establish a trust post mortem or prior. Another strategy might be to for the surviving spouse to attain citizenship so that he or she may take advantage of the unlimited estate tax marital deduction prior to filing the estate tax return.

See Jacob C. White, Plan to Avoid Limits on Estate Tax Marital Deduction on Gifts to Non-CitizensWealth Strategies 2.0, March 18, 2014.

Special thanks to Jim Hillhouse (Professional Legal Marketing (PLM, Inc.)) for bringing this article to my attention.


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