An important part of the family’s emergency plan is to make sure you have a plan for when the financial spouse can no longer serve the family in that way, either because they are no longer interested or because of their incapacity.
To preserve the portability of a deceased spouse’s exemption, you must file an estate tax return after the death of the first spouse even if you otherwise did not have to do so. The due date of the estate tax return is nine months after the decedent’s date of death.
There is a tangled web of rules and options. For any given family situation and set of desires, there is a best answer when it comes to meeting your wishes, minimizing the tax owed, and optimizing your estate plan.