Mark B. Edwards


The marital deduction formula bequest exists principally as a means of minimizing federal estate taxes. Considerations apart from the estate tax, however, have had a substantial effect upon the form of such clauses, and a 1964 pronouncement by the Internal Revenue Service has circumscribed their continued utility. The author examines the basic formula clauses, setting out the characteristics of each, the respects in which they differ, the objectives each is designed to secure, and the factors to be weighed by the draftsman who wishes to utilize a formula bequest to achieve a maximum federal estate tax marital deduction.

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