I’ve gotten 5 calls this week asking essentially the same question…”do I still need a living trust since there is no more estate tax?”
First of all let me clarify that the “estate tax” is gone only for 2010. It, unless there is some new legislation, scheduled to revert back to 2002 law. It would allow an individual who passes away to pass $1,000,000 free of estate tax. The excess over one million would be subject to tax. The use of the living trust can be a great tool for reducing or eliminating this onerous tax.
But tax savings are not the only reason to have a living trust. Another big one is avoidance of probate. With a properly drawn up living trust the assets of the decedent would not be subject to probate. Therefore, the decedents wishes would be carried out properly and privately. Others are controlling assets, letting your affairs be managed in you become disabled.
It could be a complex area and you definitely want it done right, so you definitely want to discuss it with an advisor or attorney. If you need more info on this topic, please feel free to call (805) 264-3305 or email me.