What Is the Estate Tax Marital Deduction?

People who have been able to accumulate a significant store of wealth must be concerned about possible federal estate tax exposure. This tax can take a huge bite out of the wealth that you are passing on to your loved ones. How big of a bite are we talking about?  The maximum rate of the federal estate tax is 40 percent. To determine your level of estate tax exposure, you must compare the value of your estate to the amount of the estate tax exclusion. Anything that you intend to transfer that exceeds this amount would potentially be subject to the death tax. During the current calendar year, the estate tax exclusion stands at $5.34 million. There are inflation adjustments added each year, so you may see a higher figure in 2015. Unlimited Marital Estate Tax Deduction There is an unlimited marital estate tax deduction. The $5.34 million exclusion is used to transfer assets to people other than your spouse in a tax-free manner. Because of the unlimited marital estate tax deduction, you


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