When New York residents Mark Strong and Craig Partin married in New York last October, their marriage wasn't recognized by the federal government. So the duo took extra planning steps to make sure either spouse could afford the estate tax on what he would inherit from the other.

"We each took out a tremendous amount of life insurance, compared to what we might otherwise have, so that the survivor wouldn't be burdened by the need to pay estate tax," Strong says. They pay $300 monthly for coverage.

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