Norfolk & Plymouth Estate and Business Planning Council
Spousal Trusts: Opportunities and Pitfalls
The increased estate and gift tax exemption amount (now $12,060,000 per person) has radically expanded wealth transfer and income tax planning options. But what first appears simple quickly becomes complex. Clients may be tempted to overutilize the expanded exemption amount. Perhaps they consider making large gifts to trusts for the benefit of children, assuming those children will “play ball” should Mom & Dad ever need the money back. Or maybe they read about so-called Spousal Life Access Trusts (SLATs) that eliminate the pain of gifting. Gifts to irrevocable trusts can be powerful, but there are many traps for the unwary that may frustrate wealth transfer goals, transforming a “simple” plan into a disaster. This presentation will cover select estate tax and income tax considerations of for inter vivos trusts created for the benefit of a spouse, focusing on spotting key opportunities while noting the pitfalls that often go unnoticed.
Matt Brown is a partner with the Orange County, California law firm of Brown & Streza LLP. Matt heads the firm’s Tax, Trusts, & Estates Group and its Ultra-High-Net-Worth subgroup. He represents business owners and philanthropists in personal planning, business succession planning, and charitable planning. Matt is a Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC) and a former adjunct professor of law at University of California, Irvine School of Law.
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Norfolk & Plymouth Business and Estate Planning Council
The Norfolk & Plymouth Estate and Business Planning Council is a 501(c)6 non-profit organization