Trusts, of course, are among the most powerful tools for moving wealth outside of the reach of the gnashing teeth of the estate tax in Overland Park and elsewhere.
However, the estate tax level has not been predictable for much of the last two decades.
While the estate tax level was recently twice set to drop to lows not seen in a decade or more, Congress miraculously hiked it back up to far more generous exemption amounts with far less damaging taxation percentages.
In other words, some taxpayers have found that a trust might not be doing the work for which they established it simply because Congress got it right.
Following this thought, The Wall Street Journal recently published an article titled “How to Dismantle a Trust” As the article notes, there is a way to properly "blow up" your trust.
On the other hand, do not be too quick with the dynamite!.
Why? There are far more important reasons to keep your trust independent of any present or future estate tax exposure.
For example, the probate avoidance enjoyed through a properly funded revocable living trust can save time, money and inconvenience should you become incapacitated and upon your death. Moreover, the inheritance protection available for your heirs can be an important consideration.
If you have yet to set up a trust, there are still many great reasons to establish one for yourself and your heirs. On the other hand, if your current trust is more burden that benefit, then the trust can be shut down.
Remember: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” When making your financial, tax and estate plans, do not go it alone. Be sure to engage competent professional counsel.
Reference: The Wall Street Journal (September 20, 2013) “How to Dismantle a Trust”