Reasons to make an estate plan despite uncertain tax law

Georgia residents may wonder whether they should delay creating an estate plan since tax laws may be changing under the Trump administration. However, there are many benefits to certain estate planning tools, such as irrevocable trusts, that do not depend upon taxes. In particular, irrevocable trusts can protect assets from spouses in the event of a divorce or from creditors. Furthermore, it may be very difficult to predict what may happen with tax laws. There may be a sunset provision that makes it short term, or any changes might be overturned again by another administration.

A more flexible trust will be easier to alter if there are changes in tax law. An individual may also want to consider adding a trust protector. This is separate from the trustee, and the trust protector can replace the trustee if needed. If an individual is married, making the spouse a beneficiary may mean they can benefit from the trust assets. A loan provision may give an individual the opportunity to access assets while protecting them from creditors.

A grantor trust ensures that grantors are taxed on the trust income. It also allows grantors to swap assets in and out of the trust but keeps those assets protected from creditors and others.

Trusts have a number of other uses as part of an estate plan. For example, they can be set up so that assets are only distributed at certain times. This may be appropriate for beneficiaries who are younger or less financially responsible. People who are creating an estate plan should also keep beneficiary designations in mind. Life insurance, retirement accounts and other investments may be distributed to beneficiaries in this way. Since beneficiary designations override a will, individuals should make sure that these remain updated and consistent with their overall plan.

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