Marital Planning in the Joint Trust: Balancing Income Tax, Transfer Tax, and Asset Protection Concerns

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by Brenda Geiger, JD

Marital planning in the joint trust context can be complex. As counselors, we are often asked which plan a client should choose, and sometimes the answer isn't entirely clear. Download this article to explore the tax and non-tax implications of four main marital options upon the death of the first spouse.

  1. Leaving all property to a spouse in a survivor’s trust;
  2. Dividing property into an A trust and B trust after the death of the first spouse;
  3. Leaving all of the deceased spouse’s property to the surviving spouse and including provisions for the surviving spouse to disclaim to a bypass trust; and
  4. Using a Clayton election after the death of the first spouse.

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