San Diego Estate Tax Return Experts

At Brierton, Jones & Jones, LLP, our attorneys are experienced in preparing IRS estate tax returns. This includes estates with significant value where a tax return is required and moderate estates that do not require filing but for which an estate tax return might be advised.

When To File an Estate Tax Return

Under current law, if the value of a decedent’s gross estate (plus prior taxable gifts) at the time of their death has a total value of less than $12,060,000, then a federal estate tax return is not required.

Even if an estate does not meet the federal threshold for filing, a surviving spouse may want to file an estate tax return to preserve any unused portion of their spouse’s federal estate tax exclusion. The concept of preserving the unused portion of a deceased spouse’s federal estate tax exclusion is known as “portability.” Electing portability, if available, is a technique to decrease the likelihood that estate tax will be due upon the surviving spouse’s death.

Our estate tax return attorneys can advise you on whether a Qualified Terminable Interest Trust (QTIP) election can and should be made. This affects what assets are considered part of the surviving spouse’s estate for estate and income tax purposes.

Paying an Estate Tax Liability

Estate taxes are typically due within nine months after the decedent’s death and are paid by the trustee, executor, or administrator before distributions are made to heirs or beneficiaries.

Understanding the Terminology

Here are some of the common terms when it comes to estate tax returns.

Meet the Attorneys on Your Side

What Sets Us Apart

Marked by Integrity

Over 30 years of practice in San Diego County and a reputation for professional excellence.

Driven By Excellence

Award-winning attorneys who resolve even the most complicated issues and cases.

Unmatched Expertise

One of the few San Diego firms that focuses exclusively on trust and estate matters.

Creative Problem Solving

A team that thinks outside the box to find the best solution to your problem.


Our clients and their families return to us generation after generation.

Community Oriented

Our attorneys are actively involved in the local community and have been for over 30 years.

Our Clients Say It Best

I had the pleasure of working with Hilary Vrem during a family probate case. It was a difficult time for me as I was dealing with a loss in the family and needed assistance tackling the legal process. She provided me with a clear understanding of what to expect and guided me through my best options and next steps. She went above and beyond throughout our correspondence. I would happily recommend BJJ, their attorneys, and Hilary to friends and family who are dealing with a similar situation.

Let Us Represent You

Meet with one of San Diego estate tax return attorneys if you have questions or want more information.

(619) 696-7066