Since the 1960s, when Norman Dacey touted his book, "How to Avoid Probate," so called "living" trusts (more properly, "revocable trusts") have been incredibly oversold to people who do not understand what they are buying. Well intentioned folks are lured by slick advertisements to attend free… Read More . . .
For US persons, an irrevocable life insurance trust (ILIT) is arguably the most efficient structure for integrating tax-free investment growth, wealth transfer and asset protection. An ILIT comprises two main parts: (1) an irrevocable trust; and (2) a life insurance policy owned by the trust. An… Read More . . .
The unified, lifetime federal gift and estate tax exemption in calendar year 2012 is set at $5.12 million. The federal lifetime exemption for the generation-skipping transfer tax (GSTT) is also $5.12 million in 2012. These are the highest exemption amounts in decades. In 2013, these exemptions are… Read More . . .
The term "QDOT" is an acronym for "Qualified Domestic Trust." Some people prefer to use the acronym "QDT," but we'll refer to this type of trust as a QDOT. Qualified Domestic Trusts were created under the Technical & Miscellaneous Revenue Act of 1988 (TAMRA), effective for decedents dying after… Read More . . .
Many people in the United States are currently considered disabled as defined by Social Security. Their disability may entitle them to receive various benefits that are provided by the federal and state government. Some of these benefits, such as supplemental security income, Food Stamps, housing… Read More . . .
If a relative or friend has named you to be the successor trustee of their trust (or to be the personal representative of their estate, if they have only a Will), you may feel honored by their confidence in you but uncertain – and perhaps uneasy – about the responsibilities that go with it. A… Read More . . .
In many cases a person dies owning investments such as stocks, bonds, mutual funds and other financial assets. During the administration of the probate estate or trust estate, the personal representative or trustee, as the case may be, will be required to take possession and manage these… Read More . . .
As a Trustee of a decedent's trust or as a personal representative or executor of a decedent's probate estate, you may be required to sell the decedent's real estate. In doing so, you will be confronted with legal issues and requirements as well as practical issues. I will address both in this… Read More . . .
If you've been named as the Successor Trustee of a Trust, all of the duties may seem overwhelming. Here's a checklist of things you need to do to administer the trust. 1. Review trust documents. The first step in administering a trust estate is to locate and review all of the decedent's estate… Read More . . .
If you’ve ever thought about a living trust, it’s probably because you hate the idea of going through probate. Living trusts have been heavily marketed on that basis over the past several years and, yes, living trusts certainly do avoid probate. But, there’s a whole lot more to living trusts than… Read More . . .