Advanced Estate Planning
 

  • IRA Preservation Trust (“IRA PT”):  This is the trust through which your beneficiaries will receive your IRAs after your death.
Benefits
  • Ensures that the beneficiary will stretch out distributions over his/her life expectancy
  • Fully revocable
  • “Standby” device; funded with $10
  • Creditor/predator protection
  • Protects minor beneficiaries
  • Helps prevent termination of governmental benefits to special needs beneficiaries
  • Helps ensure proper distribution to your beneficiaries
  • Your surviving spouse can still be your primary beneficiary (qualified rollovers)
  • After death of both you and your spouse, your intended beneficiaries will receive their distributions through the IRA PT

 

  • Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust (“ILIT”)

Generally, the face value of a life insurance policy is included in a taxable estate of the policy owner, and the proceeds are taxable for federal estate tax purposes.  ILIT is an irrevocable trust that is both owner and beneficiary of life insurance policies on the trust maker’s life.  ILIT is established for the benefit of someone other than the trust maker.  This excludes the trust from the trust maker’s estate and frees the proceeds from federal estate tax after the trust maker’s death and upon his/her spouse’s death. 

 

  • Build-up Equity Retirement Trust (“BERT”)

BERT is an irrevocable trust that uses funds saved from annual exclusion and those that exhaust the lifetime gift tax exemption to generate wealth for your spouse that will be excluded from estate taxes upon your death.

 BERT has the following advantages:

  • Assets are exempt from gift & estate taxes
  • Provides a “nest egg” for recipient spouse
  • When recipient spouse dies, distributions are tax free
  • Immediate creditor protection for both spouses and children
  • Effective as a flexible retirement account, with immediate funds available for individual/family needs
  • Divorce protection; not subject to division in court
  • Flexible planning for possible life contingencies
  • Fees are deductible for income tax purposes

 

  • Grantor Retained Annuity Trust (“GRAT”)

A GRAT is an estate planning tool used to make large financial gifts to family members with no gift tax requirement.  The trust maker places assets into an irrevocable trust and receives an annual fixed annuity.  When the trust expires, the beneficiaries receive assets as tax-free gifts.  This is used when passing large sums of money to later generations.

 

  • Testamentary Charitable Lead Trust (“TCLAT”)

TCLAT is a flexible way to offset any remaining portion of an estate that is exposed to tax when the grantor dies.  To do this, a grantor establishes a Charitable Lead Trust  (“CLT”) as part of his/her estate plan, and funding of the trust occurs at the grantor’s death.   At that time, a substantial amount of the grantor’s property passes to the CLT.  The income beneficiary of that CLT is the grantor’s chosen charity, as dictated in the revocable living trust. 
 
A CLT can direct that at the end of the trust’s term, its assets pass to non-charitable trust beneficiaries free of estate and gift tax. The assets can pass outright to beneficiaries, continue to be held in trust for beneficiaries, or pass to trusts previously established for the beneficiaries.

 

  • Family Limited Partnership

A Family Limited Partnership is a limited partnership among family members, allowing joint ownership of family-owned assets.  This estate planning tool permits older family members to retain control of assets while teaching younger family members how to best manage them. One partner can transfer a portion of his asset ownership held within the partnership to other family members who are partners to the agreement.   Family Limited Partnerships can also help a family plan for the future by diversifying investments and achieving significant savings of gift, estate, and income taxes.

 

  • Generation Skipping Transfer Tax Planning (“GST”):

A Generation Skipping Transfer tax is a flat federal transfer tax assessed on property transferred from one generation to another generation which is more than one generation removed from the donor of the transferred property (e.g., the transfer of property from a grandparent’s trust to a grandchild with a skip over the generation in between).  Estate and Business Law Group assists in this kind of tax planning.

 

  • Dynasty Trust

This trust is for people who wish to pass substantial wealth to subsequent generations without estate and generation-skipping tax.  Under the federal law and most state laws, all assets are subject to federal estate taxes when they pass from generation to generation.  This trust assures that assets not used by one generation will pass to later generations without encountering federal or state estate or inheritance taxes. 

 

  • Offshore Trust

An Offshore Trust is a trust created outside of the U.S. jurisdiction.  Some foreign nations provide better creditor protection than here.  In the United States, there is generally no asset protection for assets that you place in a trust created to benefit yourself and for which you are the trustee.  Creditors can then seize the trust’s assets as if they were owned in your own name.  An Offshore Trust can discourage frivolous lawsuits and protect against unforeseen liabilities arising out of a business or professional practice.


 


Frequently Asked Questions 
 

THE IRREVOCABLE LIFE INSURANCE TRUST

Can you explain more about the estate tax brackets?

Is there a way for me to protect my life insurance from estate taxes?

What is an ILIT?

What planning opportunities do ILITs provide?

What other details are involved with creating an ILIT?

Can’t I just give my life insurance policy to someone instead of creating an ILIT?
 

ASSET PROTECTION PLANNING

What is asset protection planning?

What asset protection does a Limited Partnership provide?

What is an Offshore Trust?

Why do Offshore Trusts provide better asset protection?

How do you establish an Offshore Trust?

What factors need to be considered before establishing an Offshore Trust?

What are federal estate and gift taxes?

 

DYNASTY TRUSTS

Is there a way to avoid the generation skipping tax?

What is a Dynasty Trust?

Can I create a Dynasty Trust in addition to a Revocable Living Trust?

Are there any other uses of Dynasty Trusts?

 







































 


Can you explain more about the estate tax brackets?

As stated above, the IRS taxes all of the property that we transfer to others whether while we are still alive or at the time of our deaths; however, there are a few exceptions to this transfer tax. One such exemption is that under current tax laws every American citizen can transfer to others a certain amount of their property tax-free. The amount of property that you can transfer tax-free is known as the “exclusion” amount and is determined year to year by Congress. Congress also imposes progressively larger taxes on larger estates. These taxes can be as high as almost fifty percent of the estate. The addition of life insurance proceeds can, and often does, push estates not only above the exclusion amount but also from one tax bracket to the next. When this happens, the estate becomes subject to estate taxation simply because of the existence of the life insurance. The result is that a large portion of the life insurance goes to pay estate taxes instead of to the beneficiaries. Since the exclusion amount and the various tax brackets are frequently changed by Congress, you should see a qualified estate planning attorney to learn the current amounts and to determine if your life insurance is rendering your estate taxable.

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Is there a way for me to protect my life insurance from estate taxes?

Although owning life insurance can add to the tax burden on your estate, there is a solution to this problem. The solution is to place your life insurance into a special trust known as an Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust (ILIT).

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What is an ILIT?

An ILIT is similar to all trusts in that assets transferred to it are administered by a trustee who is required to follow the trust instructions. However, unlike revocable trusts that are usually established for the Trustmaker’s benefit and which can be amended by the Trustmaker at any time and for any reason, an ILIT is established for the benefit of someone other than the Trustmaker, usually the Trustmaker’s spouse or children. Furthermore, once created ILITs usually cannot be amended, at least not without the permission of a court of law. Neither of these limitations, though, is usually significant in light of the great planning opportunities available with an ILIT.

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What planning opportunities do ILITs provide?

An ILIT accomplishes two objectives. First, it removes life insurance death proceeds from your estate and thereby reduces the value of your estate for estate tax purposes. Second, it allows you to direct how the proceeds of your life insurance will pass to your beneficiaries.

A brief example shows how an ILIT can prevent your life insurance from triggering unnecessary estate taxes. As stated earlier, if at the time of your death your property (including life insurance) exceeds the exclusion amount, your estate will have to pay estate taxes; however, if the life insurance is removed from your taxable estate by transferring it to an ILIT, the taxable value of your estate will decrease by the amount of the life insurance removed from it. The smaller your taxable estate the smaller your estate tax burden.

The best thing about ILITs is that they are specially designed to hold life insurance tax-free. The life insurance death proceeds will pass to your chosen beneficiaries estate tax-free because it was owned by the trust – not by you. It is that simple.

Does this sound too good to be true? It is not if the ILIT is properly drafted and implemented! In order to achieve this remarkable result, the ILIT must be drafted very carefully, the life insurance policies must be transferred to the ILIT in a specific manner, and the life insurance premiums must be paid in the correct fashion. Good advice from an experienced estate planning attorney is essential to making sure each of these detailed steps, and others, are done correctly.

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What other details are involved with creating an ILIT?

One important detail in creating an ILIT is the selection of the trustee. Unlike revocable trusts where you can be your own trustee, you cannot be the trustee of your own ILIT. The IRS will treat the life insurance as if it is still in your own taxable estate because you will have too much personal control over it. Your spouse or adult child may be the trustee, but because of the technical requirements of ILITs, a better choice might be your accountant, other professional advisor, or a bank or trust company. The choice of your trustee should be given careful consideration.

Another important detail involving ILITs concerns the transfer of the life insurance policy to the trust. You can transfer either existing policies into your ILIT or you can have your trustee purchase a new life insurance policy on your life that is owned by the trust.

If you transfer an existing policy into an ILIT, there are two cautions. The transfer of an existing policy to an ILIT is treated under the tax code as a taxable gift, with the potential to trigger gift taxes. Whether or not the gift of an existing policy is taxable depends on the value of the policy and the amount of the current gift tax exemption. The other drawback of transferring an existing policy to an ILIT is that if you die within three years of the transfer, the IRS will consider the transfer invalid and the policy will be still included in your taxable estate.

These limitations make it preferable to purchase a new policy if you are still insurable. If a new policy is purchased, you will not have to be concerned with either determining an existing policy’s value for gift tax purposes or with the three-year transfer rule. Many clients are not concerned about the small statistical chance of dying within three years of the transfer. They consider the opportunity to save sometimes hundreds of thousands of dollars of their life insurance well worth the risk and the cost of establishing the ILIT.

When a new life insurance policy is transferred to an ILIT, the ILIT becomes responsible for paying the premiums necessary to keep it in force. The ILIT receives the funds needed to pay such premiums by accepting cash gifts from you or others. When these gifts are made, special care must be taken to ensure that no adverse federal gift taxes are incurred. It would be pointless to avoid estate taxes only to incur gift taxes. Careful planning is needed to simultaneously avoid both gift and estate taxes.

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Can’t I just give my life insurance policy to someone instead of creating an ILIT?

Questions frequently asked are, “Is it really necessary to go through all of the steps needed to create and transfer life insurance to an ILIT? Wouldn’t it simply be easier to remove the insurance from my taxable estate by gifting the policy to my spouse or another family member?” Although gifting a life insurance policy to someone else to remove it from your taxable estate is possible, there are a myriad of problems with someone else owning your policy.

First, when the policy is transferred to an individual, the same gift tax consequences must be considered that exist when transferring it to an ILIT. The steps taken in creating an ILIT make sure these gift tax issues are not overlooked.

Second, if a spouse or adult child owns a policy on your life, and he or she dies first, the policy’s value may cause an estate tax problem in his or her estate. Using an ILIT can significantly reduce or even eliminate the estate tax specter—not merely shift the tax burden from one person to another.

Third, when you transfer a life insurance policy to another person you lose all legal control over it. The new owner can change the beneficiary, take the cash value, or even cancel the insurance. Creating an ILIT where your chosen trustee is required to follow your instructions concerning use of trust assets can prevent this. A trustee will be responsible for paying premiums and is more likely to keep the policy in force than would a child or children when called upon to write a check for the premium.

Fourth, when insurance is transferred to individuals the beneficiaries usually receive the proceeds as an outright distribution at your death. Your family would lose all of the distribution protections that exist when life insurance is transferred to an ILIT. These protections include the following:

• If your children are underage they cannot accept ownership of any death benefits. If a minor child is named as a beneficiary of a life insurance policy, the insurance company will not pay the proceeds to the child. It will instead force the matter into probate court where the court will probably order the proceeds held in trust until the child’s eighteenth birthday. The child will then receive a cashier’s check for the remaining balance. This would not happen with an ILIT, which would allow you to maintain control over when and how children receive the proceeds;

• The death of a trust beneficiary will not result in the premature transfer of the policy to his or her spouse or minor child;

• Children may have asset protection from creditors, lawsuits, and divorcing spouses when life insurance is placed in an ILIT;

• An ILIT guarantees that the administrator of your estate will have liquidity needed to pay expenses and coordinate the administration of your estate;

• ILITs permit the use of generation-skipping transfers, a method used to pass unspent proceeds of the insurance from generation to generation without incurring taxes, that are not available with an outright distribution.

In summary, creating an ILIT that meets your objectives and fits into your overall estate plan requires careful planning and the assistance of an insurance professional and estate planning attorney. If properly established and implemented, it is an excellent way to help create an estate, protect an estate from unnecessary taxation, and most importantly, provide a lasting legacy for your loved ones.

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Is there a way to avoid the generation skipping tax?

With good planning, assets may be partially transferred to succeeding generations without triggering the GST. Although it sought to prevent most generation skipping transfers from occurring, Congress decided to give individuals the right to transfer to future generations a limited amount of property free of the GST. In addition to the estate tax exclusion amount, every individual has an equal generation skipping tax exemption. 

It is important to realize that the generation skipping tax is imposed in addition to the estate tax. If a grandparent attempts to transfer more than the GST exempt amount collectively to the grandchildren, first estate taxes and then GST taxes will be imposed on the transfer. When the two taxes are combined, most of the estate can be consumed by taxes.

The GST exemption available to you provides a wonderful planning opportunity when used in combination with other estate tax planning techniques. That opportunity is called a Dynasty Trust.

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What is a Dynasty Trust?

A Dynasty Trust is a special trust established for those who desire to make full use of an individual’s right to pass assets to grandchildren or other descendants and thereby skip a generation without the GST being imposed. Since the GST exemption applies to all individuals, married couples can shelter two times the GST exempt amount from GST taxes. This means that if you are married, you and your spouse can leave twice the GST exempt amount in trust for the benefit of succeeding generations in such a way that those assets will never again be subject to estate taxation. The wealth in your Dynasty Trust would then pass from generation to generation estate tax free and provide your descendants funds for their health, support, and education. The limitation that distributions can only be made for health, support, and education is enough to keep the trust assets out of the beneficiary’s estate while providing maintenance of the beneficiary’s lifestyle.

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Can I create a Dynasty Trust in addition to a Revocable Living Trust?

There is no reason why a Dynasty Trust cannot be incorporated into your individually designed Revocable Living Trust. As is the case with all revocable trusts, the planning opportunities are endless. For example, the Dynasty Trust can provide first for the care of your children and thereafter for your grandchildren and succeeding generations. If you want to prevent the possibility of having the trust assets entirely consumed by your children, you could restrict the use of trust assets by your children to only specific purposes. After the last of your children dies, the remaining trust assets could pass to individual trusts established for each of your grandchildren. This funding pattern could repeat through generations, subject only to the limits of state law on the existence of the trust. Several states have no artificial end to the length of time trusts can exist, and creation of a trust in one of these states can allow a multigenerational trust to last forever.

Apart from providing for your children and grandchildren, Dynasty Trusts can also provide them with asset protection from abusive creditors, lawsuits, and even from failed marriages. The assets generally cannot be taken by outsiders or in divorce proceedings because they are owned by the trust, not by your child or grandchild.

Additionally, as long as the Dynasty Trust does not allow the beneficiary too much access (distributions for a beneficiary’s health, education, maintenance and support are acceptable), the assets are never regarded by the IRS as being “owned” by your beneficiaries and are not taxed in their estates. This allows a terrific opportunity for the estate tax-free growth of the assets not used to take care of the beneficiaries.


To see just how powerful estate tax-free compounding of interest can be over an extended period of time, consider the following example: If trust assets grow annually at only six percent, one million dollars grows to over eighty million dollars in the seventy five years it would take for it to pass through three generations. During all of that time your descendants would have comfortable access to interest earnings and could even spend it all if needed (i.e., for a health crisis). Further, if they bought and retained assets in the name of the trust, they would always have the dual benefits of asset protection and estate tax-free growth.

Conversely, assume that your family does not create a Dynasty Trust and the one million dollars similarly grows at six percent over seventy-five years. If each generation is taxed at fifty-five percent, after seventy-five years the money will have grown to be only slightly more than seven million dollars. Using conservative numbers, over a seventy-five year period the difference between using a Dynasty Trust and not using a Dynasty Trust is about seventy-three million dollars!

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Are there any other uses of Dynasty Trusts?

A revocable trust is just one of the estate planning tools available to take advantage of Dynasty Trust planning. Irrevocable Life Insurance Trusts provide another vehicle by which parents can use Dynasty Trust planning to benefit their children, grandchildren, or both. If done correctly, the generation skipping tax exemption can be applied to the money gifted to the ILIT and used to pay the insurance premiums. In this scenario, the amount of the GST exemption used up is the amount of the gifts used to pay the life insurance premium and not the insurances death benefit. For example, if a grandparent gifted one hundred thousand dollars to an Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust established
to benefit the grandchildren, ILIT Trustee could use it to purchase a life insurance policy worth several times the gift. The GST exemption would then be used to offset the GST taxes due, but the amount of the GST taxes is based only on the gifted amount of the premiums rather than the higher death benefit! This enables a large amount of life insurance to be purchased tax-free and used tax-free by mulitple generations. This is just one example among a number of other opportunities that are available for you to take advantage of with Dynasty Trust planning.

Whether your estate is large or small, a Dynasty Trust can provide significant estate planning benefits. Do you want your grandchildren’s inheritance, however modest or great, to be protected from abusive creditors, lawsuits, or future divorces? Do you want mulitple generations of your descendants to receive their inheritance federal estate tax-free? If you answer, “yes” to either of these questions, then you should seriously consider implementing a Dynasty Trust to protect your family.

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What is asset protection planning?

Put simply, asset protection planning is the process of removing your property from your individual ownership and placing it beyond the reach of potential claimants and creditors. The process involves changing legal ownership of your property from your individual name to a protective entity, such as a limited partnership or trust. 

If that sounds like a terrible idea, hold on. A properly designed limited partnership or trust can give you all the benefits of ownership, such as control over an asset’s disposition and the right to its income. The difference is that since you no longer legally own the asset, it cannot be seized to satisfy a judgment against you. It is the savvy planner who realizes that in today’s world legal control over an asset is often more beneficial than directly owning it.

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What asset protection does a Limited Partnership provide?

As stated in the preceding chapter, Limited Partnerships offer significant asset protection opportunities. Limited partnerships provide such asset protection because of the way the laws that govern partnerships treat partners and partnership assets. As you will recall, limited partnerships have two kinds of partners, each with dramatically different roles and responsibilities. General partners manage the partnership, and thus have full responsibility and control. 

Limited partners, on the other hand, have little, if any, input into the running of the partnership; therefore, they are not held responsible for its management or any liability it might create. No one would want to become a limited partner without this protection. The law is designed to encourage the creation of partnerships and the economic benefits they produce for society.

The second important feature of limited partnerships is that assets titled in the name of the partnership are deemed the property of the partnership itself, not that of the individual partners. The legal importance of this arrangement is that partnership assets are shielded from creditor claims against the individual partners. In other words, a creditor cannot force the sale of assets owned by the partnership to satisfy a judgment against one of its members. Instead, such creditors are entitled to attach only the member’s individually owned assets and to receive any distributions made by the partnership to that member.

To achieve asset protection with a Limited Partnership, you would transfer individual assets (real estate, business interests, investments, artwork, etc.) out of your personal name and into the name of the Limited Partnership. A common arrangement would be for you to become a one percent general partner, giving you the right to fully control and manage property just as before. You would also become a ninety-nine percent limited partner, entitling you to receive income from the partnership, but shielding your limited partnership assets from creditor claims. For the greatest asset protection, most individuals who use Limited Partnerships transfer part of their limited partnership shares to others, usually family members. This shows that the partnership has legitimate business purposes other than just defeating creditor claims and makes them more likely to survive a court challenge. Because Limited Partnerships can provide significant tax advantages, as well as asset protection, it is often an ideal strategy to use when an individual wants to pass wealth, especially a business, to other family members.

Sometimes a Limited Partnership alone isn’t enough protection against possible lawsuits or creditor actions. That’s when an Offshore Trust becomes an important tool in the asset protection toolkit.

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What is an Offshore Trust?

An Offshore Trust is simply a trust created outside of the legal jurisdiction of the United States. These Offshore Trusts are effective in protecting assets simply because the laws of the nations in which they are drafted provide better creditor protection than the protections provided in the United States of America.

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Why do Offshore Trusts provide better asset protection?

In the United States, generally no asset protection exists for assets that you place in a trust created to benefit yourself and for which you are the trustee. In such cases, the trust’s assets can be seized by your creditors just as if they were owned in your own name.

However, a handful of other nations—such as the Isle of Man, the Cook Islands, and Belize, to name a few—offer Trustmakers greater asset protection. These nations allow you to be the Trustmaker, Trustee, and the Trust Beneficiary and still protect the trust’s assets from creditors.

Furthermore, these countries will not honor a United States Court’s judgment or lien against trust assets in their jurisdiction. Before a creditor can seize trust assets, these nations require that a trial be held on their soil. The creditor must pay the often exorbitant fees associated with litigating a case in a foreign country. The cost of bringing witnesses and other legal evidence to a foreign court can prove prohibitive, as can the legal fees of a local attorney. Legal fees alone can prove a costly and insurmountable burden to bringing a lawsuit, as the trust-favorable nations do not allow for contingency fee lawsuits. Instead, they require that the plaintiff’s attorney be paid without regard to the outcome of the action.
If this were not enough in the way of asset protection, these nations also demand that the plaintiff meet the burden of proof required in United States criminal courts. A creditor plaintiff must prove its case “beyond a reasonable doubt,” not the much more lax “preponderance of evidence” standard used in the United States.

Finally, the countries most favorable to Offshore Trusts greatly limit the amount of time allowed to a plaintiff to bring legal action. In the United States, plaintiffs often have many years to file a lawsuit but in these offshore nations, plaintiffs have only a year or two to bring suit, depending on the circumstances. So for those desiring greater asset protection, Offshore Trusts can provide immeasurable peace of mind.

 

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How do you establish an Offshore Trust?

To obtain the legal protections offered by Offshore Trusts, typically you would have your attorney create both a limited partnership and a trust in the desired offshore nation. You would then transfer your ninety-nine percent limited partnership shares to the Offshore Trust and retain the one-percent general partner share. Doing this would afford you the greatest possible degree of protection for your wealth, while preserving complete control over the assets themselves.

Fortunately, Offshore Trust laws do not require that the assets literally be removed from U.S. soil nor do they require that the Trustmaker relocate to a foreign country. As long as the ownership of the assets and the jurisdiction governing the trust reside in a trust-favorable nation, the Trustmaker receives full asset protection.

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What factors need to be considered before establishing an Offshore Trust?

The reality is that asset protection planning is more costly to implement than other estate plans. In addition, you’ll spend more each year to maintain it but keep in mind the savings it can also generate. You may be able to reduce considerably the malpractice or business liability insurance premiums you now pay once most of your assets are protected offshore. Furthermore, you can save the enormous cost of defending yourself in a lawsuit, or worse, losing it all in court. With proper asset protection in place, you may never have to experience either. The peace of mind alone afforded by this planning option is often well worth the modest investment.

If an Offshore Trust makes sense to you, the time to implement it is now before it is too late and a legal crisis is already upon you. If you wait until action against you is “pending, threatened, or expected,” the measures you take to remove wealth from your estate will be deemed a fraudulent conveyance and invalidated by a court of law.

Moreover, don’t think that an Offshore Trust will lessen your tax liability. If you remove assets offshore, you are required to notify the IRS.
One final note is also in order. In an attempt to capture some of the Offshore Trust business, a few states recently enacted laws which promise to provide trusts created under their jurisdiction with some of the same protections offered by trusts created in foreign jurisdictions. While it’s possible that these trusts may work for those who live, work, and own all their assets in one of these states, those in other states may be exposed to creditor action just as before because each state’s courts are required to give “full faith and credit” to the judgments of other states’ courts. A judgment against you in one state would be honored by the other states, even if the trust you’ve created seemed to promise you complete protection.

If you think that asset protection may be for you, sit down immediately with your trusted estate planning attorney. It is your attorney who can evaluate your individual situation and determine the most effective strategy to help you meet your asset protection goals.

Despite its promises to “simplify” the tax code, Congress’ never ending changes to our nation’s estate and gift tax code have made it too complicated for most people to understand. Nonetheless, a review of its basic details is essential to understanding how to protect your estate.

 

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What are federal estate and gift taxes?

Federal estate and gift taxes are what is known as transfer taxes. Simply put, they are taxes on your right to give money or property to others. The gift tax is a tax on your right to give money away while you are alive. The estate tax is a tax on your right to leave your property to others at your death.

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GLOSSARY
 
Beneficiary  One who receives property pursuant to a will, a trust, an insurance policy, an individual retirement account, or other third-party beneficiary contract.   Back to Top
 

Estate Tax  An excise tax levied by the state or the federal government on the privilege of transferring wealth at death.  The estate has the obligation to pay estate tax.   Back to Top