WHEN SHOULD YOU REVIEW & REVISE YOUR WILL OR REVOCABLE TRUST?

It is not unusual for clients to wait 20 years or longer before re-reading their wills or revocable trusts to determine if they still “work.” This occasionally creates expensive or frustrating problems. Continue reading

WILLS FOR SECOND MARRIAGES

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

IS A LAWYER NEEDED TO ADMINISTER A REVOCABLE TRUST AFTER DEATH?

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

SLATs (Spousal Lifetime Access Trusts)

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:
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