Using the Marital Deduction in Settlements
8 Pages Posted: 18 Dec 2017
Date Written: October 25, 2017
This article considers a common scenario in which a surviving spouse challenges a prenuptial agreement that granted each spouse a life estate at the other’s death, and whether the resulting settlement payment by the estate can qualify for the marital deduction when structured as a statutory election. Section 2056(c) explicitly allows the marital deduction for the elective share, but the result may be the same even if the Will Contest Regulation applies. Thus, a prenuptial agreement does not necessarily prevent the marital deduction if the surviving spouse challenges the prenuptial agreement and attempts to exercise statutory rights, facilitating settlement.
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