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Gift Tax, Form 709 - Splitting Gifts Following The Death Of A Spouse

Splitting Gifts Following The Death Of A Spouse.

  1. My wife died in the summer of 2023.
  2. We each did automatic gifting of cash to our daughter and son-in-law each month.
  3. An automatic gift to our daughter occurred from my wife’s account a week after her death.
  4. Automatic gifting from my account to our daughter continued through December 2023.
  5. The amounts gifted exceeded the annual exclusion so I need to file Form 709 for each of us.
  6. No other complexities… No DSUE or gifts to others.

From page 7 of the 2023 instructions for Form 709:

Gift Splitting - If you and your spouse both consent, all gifts (including gifts of property held with your spouse as joint tenants or tenants by the entirety) either of you make to third parties during the calendar year will be considered as made one-half by each of you if all of the following apply.

  1. You and your spouse were married to one another at the time of the gift.

  2. The consent is effective for the entire calendar year; therefore, all gifts made by both you and your spouse to third parties during the calendar year (while you were married) must be split.
  3. This means we were no longer married following her death: Lines 15 & 16 on Form 709:

Am I understanding the process correctly?

My Wife’s Form 709:

  1. We are splitting all gifts up to the date of her death.
  2. Since we were no longer married, I cannot split the any gifts from her account following her death. I will list those gifts on a Continuation Page, Gifts By Donor. I will not check the Split Gift box.

My Form 709:

  1. We are splitting all gifts up to the date of her death.
  2. As above, I will list those gifts from me on a Continuation Page, Gifts By Donor. I will not check the Split Gift box.

Thanks in advance

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3 Replies

Gift Tax, Form 709 - Splitting Gifts Following The Death Of A Spouse

You are correct. 

Gift Tax, Form 709 - Splitting Gifts Following The Death Of A Spouse

Thankyou Bsch4477

Form 709 looks simple on the surface but it is complex and it requires 20 pages of marginally written instructions. The chance a DIYer will get it correct is unlikely.

Gift Tax, Form 709 - Splitting Gifts Following The Death Of A Spouse

Agreed. Since the estate tax exemption is over 13 million dollars it won’t much matter how you complete that form. 

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