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Deciding Whether to Use a Joint Trust or Separate Trusts for a Married Couple

Marital Planning Joint Trust, Revocable Living Trust, Sweetheart Trust,

by Jeramie J. Fortenberry, JD, LLM (Taxation) | Legal Education Faculty

Most estate planning attorneys represent married couples that do not have taxable estates. Many of these couples have a simple objective—to provide for the surviving spouse after the first spouse’s death and distribute the remainder of the estate to or for the benefit of the children on the second spouse’s death (the so-called sweetheart estate plan). There is debate...