In a recent Revenue Ruling, the IRS extended the deadline for the executor of an estate to elect portability on behalf of a surviving spouse.  For those that need a refresher, the American Tax Payer Relief Act of 2012 made permanent a surviving spouse’s right to use a deceased spouse’s unused estate tax exemption amount (a right technically known as “portability”).  Today, each person has $5.34 million dollar estate tax exemption, but for married couples (and that includes same-sex married couples), a suviving spouse can use a deceased spouse’s exemption, allowing a couple to shelter up to $10.68 million dollars in 2014.  The catch is that you must file an estate tax return in order to claim that exemption within nine months of the deceased spouse’s death, or the opportunity is lost.  That is, until Revenue Ruling 2014-18.

If your spouse passed away after December 31, 2010 and before December 31, 2013, you may be able to take advantage of this extension.  Don’t wait — contact your attorney or CPA today to find out more.