Estate planning for second marriages is difficult. There is a constant tension between ensuring the continued support of the surviving spouse and ensuring that the decedent’s children are not disinherited. Here are some options and recommendations. (In the interest of brevity, I will use “husband” to refer to the first spouse to die, and “wife” to refer to the surviving spouse.) Continue reading
A revocable trust (sometimes known as a “living trust”) is a will substitute that avoids probate at death. Thus, a lawyer is not needed to prepare and file probate documents with a court. Do you need a lawyer for anything else? Usually the answer is “yes,” at least on an as needed basis. Continue reading
If you divorce, will a future inheritance from your parents be taken into account in determining the award to your spouse? In Oregon, the answer is generally no. Continue reading
In general, “SLAT” refers to a trust created during a spouse’s lifetime for the benefit of the other spouse. (For simplicity, I will assume the husband is the party creating the SLAT, and the wife is the beneficiary.) The SLAT usually continues for the rest of the wife’s life. Only the husband’s assets are used to fund the trust, and the wife is given no powers (such as a general power of appointment) that would cause the SLAT assets to be included in her estate at her death. No marital deduction is claimed.
Advantages of a SLAT:
Most trust agreements state that the trustee is entitled to a “reasonable fee” — without further explanation. The Oregon Uniform Trust Code [ORS 130.635(1)] is no better: “If the terms of a trust do not specify the trustee’s compensation, a trustee is entitled to compensation that is reasonable under the circumstances.”
What is reasonable? Continue reading