Your individual estate plan is going to depend largely on your personal situation and the goals you have for your assets. That being said, one major factor that can alter your estate planning situation tremendously is children. Without children, some couples might wonder what estate planning options could be used.
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One such example is a QTIP trust, or a Qualified Terminable Interest Property Trust. This trust gives a benefit to the surviving spouse that keeps the assets out of the hands of creditors. Using this trust properly, assets from the trust that are still present after the surviving spouse passes away would then be given to beneficiaries stipulated by the spouse who passed away first.
A big benefit to this approach is that the personal representative of the first spouse (referring to the spouse who passes away first) can exert some flexibility over the best way to proceed. A partial QTIP election or portability election are the choices that a personal representative might consider after the first spouse passes away. One factor to bear in mind is ensuring that the applicable exclusion amount of the first spouse doesn’t go to waste, which can be addressed in planning strategies with your estate planning specialist.
Your family structure and how involved your family is in your own estate plans strongly dictates what needs you have when you come to the table to discuss your goals and concerns. To learn more, email us at email@example.com or contact us via phone at 732-521-9455.