No one wants to pay more taxes than they have to. To carry out this objective, many people search for the perfect estate planning tool that will allow them to control as much of their money and property as possible while reducing the amount they or their loved ones will have to pay the government. If you have looked for the tax-saving estate planning tools, chances are you might have come across the spousal lifetime access trust (SLAT). Here are some important things you should know before you settle on this tool as your estate planning solution.
What is a spousal lifetime access trust?
A SLAT is a type of irrevocable trust created by one spouse (trustmaker spouse) for the benefit of the other spouse (beneficiary spouse) that is used to transfer money and property out of the trustmaker spouse’s estate. This strategy allows married couples to take advantage of their lifetime gift and estate tax exclusion amounts by having the trustmaker spouse make sizable, permanent gifts to the SLAT that decrease the value of their estate while maintaining some limited access to the money and property that is gifted for the beneficiary spouse’s benefit.
How does it work?
The trustmaker spouse gifts money or property (of which they are the sole owner) to the SLAT for the benefit of the beneficiary spouse. If the couple resides in a community property state, they will likely need to convert community property into separate property through a partition agreement. The trustmaker spouse reports the gift on a gift tax return. The beneficiary spouse can receive distributions from the trust, from which the trustmaker spouse may also indirectly benefit. Upon the death […]