Ralph Castelli

Statistics tell me that my wife will outlive me.  I say, “May the best man win.”  (Just kidding, honey.  Don’t forget that life insurance policy.)  All kidding aside, in most cases one spouse will survive the other and our tax system anticipates this.  The estate tax law changes enacted in 2010 further facilitated benefits to a surviving spouse.

In this issue, Brian Jenney outlines how a surviving spouse may be able to incorporate into his or her own estate plan the unused amount of the federal estate tax exemption left by the deceased spouse.  The unused amount is now considered portable for the benefit of the surviving spouse.  However, certain filings are required so planning still remains important.

On the topic of taxes, there is another change to anticipate – this time regarding Michigan taxes.  Please read the article by Gloria Chon, which explains how a taxpayer may no longer be required to “pay to play” in the case of certain tax disputes.

Finally, I would like to congratulate the many attorneys at our firm who recently received recognition or spoke by invitation at an event.  While we are not keeping track and remain humble, I am confident that our statistics are good.

Best Wishes,

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