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2gifts, in re-reading your response, I see that you actually were talking about what would happen if the husband left $5M in trust for the daughter prior to his death, which would reduce the estate tax exemption for the surviving spouse from potentially $10M to $5M (since the husband would have already used up his $5M). I think you're right about that. This is why I suggested gifting to the trust during the parents' lifetimes up to the annual max for each parent per person, which would be around $28K combined per year at current levels, and this amount would not then be subtracted from either parents $5M exemption, thus saving a total of $10M for the surviving spouse to pass to the daughter free of estate taxes.
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