In our review of estate plans that predate 2011, many trusts for married couples consist of a survivor’s and decedent’s trust at the death of the first spouse. Prior to 2011, this set up was necessary to protect the deceased spouse’s federal estate tax exemption. However, since 2011, an individual’s federal estate tax exemption is portable to his or her spouse. Therefore, there is no longer a necessity to create the decedent’s trust at the first death.
Creation of a decedent’s trust creates administrative burdens and costs as are required.
Now that the federal estate tax exemption is portable, couples have the option of passing everything to the surviving spouse at the first death without jeopardizing the deceased spouse’s federal estate tax exemption. To do so, it is important that you review your current estate plan to ensure that you understand the terms of your trust and that your trust truly indicates your wishes.
Here at Chauvel & Glatt, we will review your estate plan to explain the terms to you and assist you in making any necessary changes so your trust clearly indicates your wishes. To learn how our attorneys can assist you with your estate planning or other legal needs, contact us today.