A spousal portability election is a good idea. However, it has faced some problems, including the surviving spouse may not be aware of the potential action and there is a time limit of nine months after a spouse passes away to make a spousal portability election.
The Journal of Accountancy reports that the IRS has made it easier again in "IRS provides simplified method to request an extension of time to make a portability election."
Of course, nothing with the IRS is completely simple and easy.
The new rule offers some relief, but there are still requirements and time limits to keep in mind. There is also paperwork that needs to be completed and filed in the correct way.
An estate planning attorney can guide you in creating an estate plan that meets your unique circumstances, including the spousal portability election procedure.
Reference: Journal of Accountancy (June 9, 2017) "IRS provides simplified method to request an extension of time to make a portability election."