In an estate planning context, this is the matter of portability. Prior to 2011, the answer to this question would have been no. However, due to a tax relief bill that was signed into law by the president in 2011, the exclusion was made portable between spouses, allowing the surviving spouse to add the deceased spouse’s unused exclusion amount to their own. However, “portability” is not automatic and must be timely claimed by the surviving spouse or it is lost. Moreover, New York does not have portability under any circumstances.