FAQ: Trusts

Trusts are a great way to put conditions on how, when, and to whom your assets will be distributed after you pass away. However, there are several options and specific terms to know when it comes to setting up a trust, and many people aren't sure of the best path forward.

To help explain, I've put together some frequently asked questions and answers on the subject.

Estate Tax Portability - 5 Things You Need to Know

The IRS recently released an update to its federal estate tax regulations, relaxing the rules on making a late portability election to a descendant's estate.

Currently, the federal estate tax exemption is $5.4 million, meaning that when a person dies, they will only pay federal estate tax (up to 40%) if the value of their estate exceeds $5.4 million. In 2011, the IRS introduced a concept called 'portability' to the federal estate tax exemption, and has now added an additional rule to allow for a late portability election. Here's what you should know:

6 Things You Should Know About Irrevocable Life Insurance Trusts

Did you know that if your estate is large enough, up to 40% of your life insurance death benefits can be lost to federal estate tax?

Although life insurance proceeds are not subject to income tax, they are included in your taxable estate, and therefore can be subject to estate tax. To prevent the taxation of life insurance proceeds, many of our clients choose to purchase their life insurance policy using an Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust (ILIT), or gift their existing policy to an ILIT.