Tag Archives: Trusts

Has Portability Rendered The Bypass Trust Extinct?

Portability allows a surviving spouse to use the “deceased spousal unused exclusion” amount (“DSUE”) of their spouse. This used to be accomplished by use of a “bypass trust”, otherwise known as a “credit shelter trust”, which is now no longer needed for that purpose, in most cases. However, it serves other purposes which should be considered: it can protect the deceased spouses expectations in the case of children of a prior marriage, remarriage of the surviving spouse, and protection from the surviving spouse’s debts. Continue reading

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When Estate Tax Law Change Is The Only Constant, Keep Your Estate Plan Flexible

As an estate planning attorney, I find it extremely frustrating to not know what the estate tax law will be when my client eventually passes away, since this makes the very idea of “planning” problematic. The window between when an estate … Continue reading

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Lifetime Gifts: Is Massive Gifting Before The End Of 2012 A Good Estate Planning Strategy?

Some estate planners have urged their clients to make large lifetime (inter vivos) gifts to their heirs in 2012, when the current federal gift tax exemption is $5.12M, and the federal gift tax rate is 35%. We don’t know what … Continue reading

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Duties of a Successor Trustee

If a decedent had a properly drafted and funded trust, probate  is generally not required. Unlike a will, a trust is a private document and need not be filed with the probate court. Nonetheless, the successor trustee must still take steps to administer … Continue reading

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