Estate planning often involves trying to determine how to best take care of loved ones when the client is no longer able to make those decisions for him or herself. It is an issue filled with emotion and recognition of the reality of what it will mean when the assets in question are no longer in control of the client. As Charles M. Aulino points out in CCH’s Family Trust Planning Guide, those realizations don’t require the client to die first. Living trusts offer some tax advantages for those who are trying to reduce both current taxes and wealth transfer taxes, but they do require giving up control of the assets moved into the trust. Beyond that are the many decisions about the term of the trust, beneficiaries, distributions, control and other issues that a trust planner will have to sort through. And, of course, an attorney will be necessary to nail down the legal provisions of the trust, which could also be linked to the clients will. In the chapter “Designing a Family Trust Fund,” Aulino provides a sample checklist to help with the planning of a trust fund.
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This story is from the CCH’s monthly Focus on Tax newsletter, which provides advise and guidance on federal and state tax issues for tax and accounting professionals.
Read this article from CCH’s Journal of Taxation of Financial Products.