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The 2010 Estate Tax Election - Opting in or Opting Out: Key Issues To Consider Before Deciding


For estate and tax planners, 2010 was a year in which more questions were raised than resolved. In the end, executors of estates of decedents who died in 2010 were left with two estate tax regimes to choose from. What are the key factors to consider in determining which regime will result in the more favorable outcome?

While it may seem attractive and simple to opt out of the estate tax altogether, doing so subjects the estate to modified carryover basis increases. Generally, if the decedent’s estate is valued under $5 million, it’s more desirable to opt in to the retroactive estate tax regime and receive the full step up in basis since no estate tax will be due. But establishing which option is better for estates with assets of over $5 million requires a closer look at the assets and a quantitative analysis to determine the tax liability under each scenario.

In this exclusive Webinar, the editors of Trusts & Estates bring together a team of industry experts to update estate and tax planners on all the factors that need to be considered—and how they interact with one another—to achieve the goals and desires of both the surviving spouse and other beneficiaries.

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