Conference Call: Maintaining and Operating Irrevocable Trusts

With the flurry of trusts created over the past two years that peaked as we approached the “fiscal cliff,” guidance on how to properly maintain and operate these wealth transfer vehicles is useful. Now that they are in motion, who is at the helm?

During this 30-minute call, McManus & Associates reviews strategies to ensure that your trust operates properly as it advances your estate planning and wealth transfer goals. John O. McManus also discusses the special provisions for life insurance trusts, payment of taxes on income earned by trust assets and the new planning ideas utilizing the trust as a leading instrument to accomplish the mission.

LISTEN HERE: “Conference Call – Maintaining and Operating Irrevocable Trusts”.

  1. Are all trust accounts, real property owned by trust and life insurance policies held in trust correctly titled?
  2. How does the tax basis of an asset and its projected future growth affect future planning? What future swaps of assets might you consider?
  3. How do we avoid common filing and reporting errors, especially payment of income taxes? If it’s a grantor trust, do we file an income tax return?
  4. Now that the trust is funded what post-funding strategies can be employed to impact the trust to better meet your goals?
  5. If you have not used the full exemption amount, ($5.25MM), should you consider making additional gifts now to further “freeze” the estate.
  6.  If your life insurance has been transferred to trust, are you properly maintaining the trust to address annual payments?
  7. When and why should you transfer a trust to an asset-protected state? Are there any actions pending against an individual who is a beneficiary of the trust or you, the grantor? What states are most favorable?
  8. When should you consider an institutional trustee? What are the pros and cons? When an individual is named as trustee, does he know his responsibilities?
  9. When your trust owns your primary residence, how should you cover expenses, insurance and titling? If you are the occupying tenant, have we formalized a lease agreement?
  10. How should you make distributions when the family business or other corporate entity (LLC, partnership, etc) is owned by a trust? Are two transactions necessary?
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