Estate planning tips for Georgia women: estate tax exclusions

Estate planning is a matter of financial literacy, but the estate planning field is still primarily dominated by men. Georgia women should make sure that they are at least equally involved in the estate planning process because the consequences of not being involved in the estate planning process are frequently more serious for women than men.

Forbes reports that almost 42 percent of women age 65 and older are widowed, whereas only 14 percent of men in the same age group are widowers. Women also tend to have longer life spans, lower lifetime earnings, and older spouses, which means that the financial safety of many Georgia women will be compromised if proper estate planning is not done.

One of the most important things that every Georgia woman should know is what deadlines apply after the death of her husband. A surviving spouse can take advantage of "portability" rules which allow the unused estate tax exclusion of the deceased spouse to be used by the surviving spouse.

Forbes reports that portability is not an instant process and that the deceased spouse's executors have to file an estate tax return to take advantage of portability. The exclusion is currently at $5 million, so a widow can use up to a $10 million exclusion if her husband did not need to use any of it.

Even those Georgia widows who do not have $5 million should see that their husband's executor files an estate tax return because a widow's financial situation may change.

There is also a nine-month deadline for turning down, or disclaiming, any inheritance from a spouse. Disclaiming is the act of turning down an inheritance so it can go directly to surviving children or a trust. Although it may not be necessary or advantageous to disclaim an inheritance under the current laws, widows should be aware of the applicable deadlines because the estate tax laws many change.

Source: Forbes, "Estate Planning For Women (And the Men Who Love Them)" Deborah Jacobs, 5/19/11

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

Mr. Teiger, Thank you very much for your time and results. I will definitely recommend you & your firm to anyone who wants to be treated professionally courteously and needs results.Hope all is well.Again...thank you. Regards, Paul L.

msg iconEmail Us For a Response

When you have legal questions or concerns, contact our team at Teiger Law Center, P.C., by calling 678-374-7645, 800-780-2275 or reach us via email by completing our online contact form. From our Cumming and Alpharetta law offices, we represent clients in the Atlanta metro and throughout north Georgia.

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close

Privacy Policy

Cumming Office
514 West Maple Street
Suite 101
Cumming, GA 30040

Toll Free: 866-726-2153
Phone: 678-374-7645
Fax: 770-406-8858
Cumming Law Office Map

Alpharetta Office
12600 Deerfield Parkway, Suite 100
Alpharetta, GA 30004

Toll Free: 800-780-2275
Phone: 678-374-7645
Fax: 770-406-8858
Map & Directions