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How to Plan for Final Expenses when Terminating a Trust

When terminating a trust, you need to put money aside to pay final taxes and fees. The trust income needs to be reduced by any expenses accrued as of the termination date. If you decide to pay the income [more…]

Setting Up a Trust in Your Estate Plan

Trusts can be a great help in your estate planning — they can protect your property, save on estate taxes, and help you avoid probate. Sounds great, right? Well, before seriously considering a trust, you [more…]

How Marital Trusts Work

Most marriage-oriented trusts postpone payment of estate taxes until both spouses in a marriage have died. A marital deduction trust allows you to put property in trust with your spouse as the beneficiary [more…]

How to Hire an Investment Advisor for Your Estate or Trust

Very often, executors, administrators, and trustees are thrust into situations for which they have no preparation and no experience. You may find yourself in this category as your attempt, for example, [more…]

How to Protect a Trust’s Assets

Among the myriad of duties you assume as trustee is a duty to protect the trust assets. In today’s financial world, protecting the assets most likely doesn’t mean hanging on to those assets with which [more…]

What Powers Are Granted to a Trustee?

The powers the grantor gives you, the trustee, in a trust instrument include the buying and selling of assets, determining distributions to the beneficiaries, and even the hiring and firing of advisors [more…]

How to Deal with Outliers after the Trust Terminates

We’d love to tell you that, when you’ve completed the estate’s final tax returns, the final accounts, crossed your t’s and dotted your i’s, that you’re done, finished, complete. We’d be lying. No matter [more…]

Does Your Estate Qualify for the Deceased Spousal Unused Exclusion (DSUE)?

As of January 1, 2011, one spouse can elect to transfer any unused exclusion amount to the surviving spouse. So, if your decedent doesn’t have a taxable estate but the surviving spouse has or may have [more…]

What You Should Know about Trusts Created during Lifetime and after Death

By the time you start administering the trust, the distinction between a trust created during the grantor’s lifetime or after his or her death is probably moot. Still, you need to know whether the trust [more…]

What are Irrevocable Trusts?

When it comes down where the action is as far as administration is concerned, the real meat and potatoes of trusts are the irrevocable trusts, or trusts that grantors have created to hold property where [more…]

What are Marital Trusts?

Leaving a trust behind for your husband or wife after you die isn’t a sign that you don’t think he or she can handle your money; instead, it’s a crafty tax technique designed to minimize the taxes paid [more…]

How to File for Tax-Exempt Status for Your Foundation

To get tax-exempt status for your foundation, file Form 1023, Application for Recognition of Exemption under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. [more…]

What Are Qualified Subchapter S Trusts and Electing Small Business Trusts?

In a simple world, the only assets owned by trusts would be publicly traded stocks, bonds, and cash. But this isn’t a simple world, and many grantors have less traditional sorts of property that they want [more…]

How to Find an Estate or Trust Attorney

When searching for an attorney to help you with your estate or trust, you may be wondering, where’s the best place to look? Unfortunately, you can’t rub a magic lamp and ask for an attorney to appear, [more…]

How to Fund a Trust with Life Insurance

A life insurance policy can fund a trust that eventually creates some available cash for future expenditures, such as anticipated estate taxes. Life insurance policies come in many flavors, and they guarantee [more…]

Invest for a Trust with Social Responsibility and Political Awareness

As trustee, you have the ultimate choice of investments, and you can choose based on your philosophy of life. Socially responsible investing has been around for a long time, beginning with the Quakers [more…]

How to Create a Filing System for a Trust

Organization is the key, and no more so than when you’re a trustee. The grantor has relied on you to handle the trust’s assets competently. When you’re organized, you know where the trust’s important documents [more…]

How to Prepare a Trust's Initial Inventory

The starting point for any trust is the property funding it. This property is listed on the trust’s initial inventory (that is, a list you create of all the initial assets of the trust), where you show [more…]

How to Compile Records of Trust Transactions

After you create an initial inventory, you can begin tracking the activity in the trust account. Just like maintaining a running balance in your own checkbook, tracking this basic information helps in [more…]

Schedule K-1 for Estates and Trusts: Deductions and Credits

In addition to allowing you to split each income distribution into all its component parts, Schedule K-1 also gives the estate income beneficiary all the other tax attributes that can pass through the [more…]

How to Identify the People Associated with a Trust

The grantor of the trust has indeed set the stage for his or her wishes to be played out under the trust instrument. As trustee, identifying the players is one of your important first steps because you [more…]

Roll an Estate’s Pension Plan or IRA to the Heirs

When you’re trying to figure out exactly how much the estate owns, you may be tempted to liquidate everything into cash. Although this thinking may work sometimes, don’t do it with any pension plan, IRA [more…]

What Is State Inheritance or Estate Tax?

Just as many states impose an income tax, many also impose estate or inheritance taxes. Most states used to calculate these taxes based on a credit on the federal [more…]

How to Invest in Bonds for a Trust

Bonds are pieces of loans, packaged by a corporation or a government as an investment product. When you purchase a bond, you’re purchasing a piece of someone else’s debt. In exchange for the money you’re [more…]

What Is a Living Trust?

A living trust is a legal document created by you (the grantor) during your lifetime. Just like a will, a living trust spells out exactly what your desires are with regard to your assets, your dependents [more…]


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