f you're married to a wealthy spousde, it may be that his or her estate planning documents are drafted to take maximum advantage of the amount that can pass to heirs free from federal estate tax.
However, thanks to the mess left by Congress, and as of January 1st, 2010, the formula clause of the wills and trusts may now leave everything to the children or other heirs and nothing to the spouse. This is problematic in all cases, but may be a source of significant will disputes that can be avoided by careful planning now.
The Wall Street Journal just published a great review of this estate tax issue.
Click here to read more about spouses and the federal estate tax.
David M. Frees III is Chair of the Trust, Estate, and Wealth Preservation of
Pennsylvania Law Fir Unruh, Turner, Burke and Frees
Frees has also been recognized with AVVO's highest lawyer rating of 10 - Superb.
For information about how the new estate tax laws may affect your estate
plan and estate planning documents call 610-933-8069