Relief is on the way for estates that made late portability elections. According to an IRS official, the agency is weighing issuing private rulings granting additional time to elect portability. Under this rule, when one spouse dies, any unused estate and gift tax exemption passes to the surviving spouse. We expect that the Service will rule favorably on late elections. Many executors did not realize that the elections must be made on a timely filed estate tax return, even if total assets are less than the normal filing threshold for Form 706, $5 million for deaths in 2011, $5.12 million for 2012 and $5.25 million for estates of decedents who die in 2013.