Thank you for using justanswer. You are absolutely correct in your thinking. NOL'S are tied to the individual tax payer, and unfortunately, if the tp dies before they use them all, then the unused NOL dies with them. (Probably not the answer you wanted I'm sure)
Since you had already been to the IRS 's website and referenced the Pub, I went to this webiste:
Net Operating Loss (NOL) Helpful Hints and pulled this for you:
'Error: Failure to separate all items shown on the return and tax account when an allocation is required because of a change in filing status or marital status.
Solution: Attach a complete breakdown of each spouse's income; a detailed capital gain calculation; deductions, including a list of total Schedule A Itemized Deductions; exemptions; taxable income; credits; other taxes, including separate Forms 6251, Alternative Minimum Tax; federal tax withheld; payments; offsets; and refunds. For information about figuring the NOL carrybacks and carryovers for married people whose filing status changes for any tax year involved in figuring an NOL carryback or carryover, see Publication 536, Net Operating Losses (NOLs) for Individuals, Estates, and Trusts"
Also Pub 536 definitely limits the income to the spouse: "If you file a joint return, the NOL deduction is limited to the income of that spouse. "
You didn't mention which business credit you were questioning, but I wouldn't be suprised if they worked the same way. You're on the right path.
Let me know if there's anything else I can help with.
Positive feedback and bonuses are always appreciated