The Big Marriage Benefit in Estate Planning

The tragic news of Philip Seymour Hoffman’s death also came with an expensive reminder of how estate tax law favors marriage.  It has been reported that most of Mr. Hoffman’s $35 million estate will go to Mimi O’Donnell, his longtime love and mother of his three children.  Unfortunately, the fact that this couple wasn’t married means this transfer of wealth won’t qualify for the unlimited marital deduction and will instead be heavily taxed.

Certainly tax status is not the first thing on most people’s mind when they are considering marriage, but it does warrant some consideration when deciding if that “piece of paper” is important.  In this case, it translates into millions of dollars to the IRS.

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