Forbes recently addressed this matter in an article titled "Deathbed Tax Dodges: Take These Steps Now To Save Later," identifying certain fundamental tax moves to make even in the eleventh hour at life's end.
The article highlights three basic steps: (1) ensure that your spouse has been granted your power of attorney, (2) create separate investment accounts for you and your spouse, and (3) remember the annually-renewing power of gifts to beneficiaries other than your spouse.
The article describes how these steps work together maximize your estate tax savings, as well as reduce the size of your estate subject to such taxes. That said, to take full advantage of these steps, the advice and assistance of competent legal counsel should be retained.
Reference: Forbes (August 27, 2012) "Deathbed Tax Dodges: Take These Steps Now To Save Later"