Articles Tagged with Trust Planning

Signing documentThere was a time when irrevocable bypass trusts were highly favored by estate planning attorneys as one of the best estate planning methods for married couples. It worked like this: one spouse would fund the trust with an amount that was just under the estate tax exemption. At the time that the funding spouse passed away, funds in the trust were available for the heirs, and the balance of the estate was inherited by the surviving spouse.

Consequently, this approach lowered the size of the surviving spouse's eventual estate and lessened the estate tax burden for the married couple. However, as Kiplinger's Retirement Report points out in "Old Trusts Create Tax Issues for Heirs," estate tax laws have changed significantly since the time when many of these trusts were created.

The estate tax exemption is far higher than it used to be, and spousal portability now allows a married couple to double its estate tax exemption.

Pampered dogSam Simon,  co-creator of The Simpsons, was a devoted owner of his rescue dog, Columbo.  And Columbo has enjoyed sitting in the lap of luxury.  One of Columbo's monthly bills was for acupuncture treatments, twice a week, at a monthly cost of $3,640. That was just one of his regular medical and therapeutic treatments.

Simon passed away earlier this year after a struggle with colon cancer. Most of his fortune was put in trust to be used to promote animal rights. Columbo, however, was given over to Tyson Kilmer, an animal trainer and Simon's friend. Now Kilmer and the trust that Simon created are in a bitter dispute over money to pay for the dog's care.

Kilmer claims that he needs $140,000 a year to maintain the same treatments that Simon gave Columbo. He claims that the trust refuses to give him the funds. The trust has a different story.

Sunlit forestUpon British actor and director Lord Richard Attenborough's death, the value of his estate and his last wishes were made public via his will.  His estate in the United Kingdom was worth approximately £1.5 million, not including the value of any assets held in trust or any foreign assets.

However, his will also revealed that Attenborough requested that his body be cremated.

His wish was that one-third of his remains be placed at his Scottish estate and another third be taken to an estate in France. The final third of his remains he wants intermingled with the remains of his daughter and granddaughter at a church near Attenborough's estate in the UK.

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