If you answer yes to the following 5 questions, consider a Joint Legacy Trust:
(1) Are you married?
(2) Is your marriage a partnership?
(3) Are your children from the same marriage?
(4) Do you have separate trusts?
(5) Do you own a home?
With the new $5.34 million estate tax exemption only about 0.14% of us will pay an estate tax. Owning a home and passing it to your children could cause a capital gains tax, and Congress is increasing Capital Gains Tax Rates.
Making a joint trust not only reflects and mirrors your life as a partnership, other benefits include: simplicity, flexibility and reducing capital gains tax.
The Joint Trust offers simplicity in that it eliminates the need for obtaining a Federal Identification Number and filing a trust income tax return when the first spouse dies; flexibility to accommodate change after the first spouse's passing; and reduces capital gains tax by taking advantage of a "step-up" in basis, coined "freebasing by Forbes Magazine.*
Separate Trusts were prepared when the estate tax exemption was $600,00 per spouse and helped to reduce estate tax. With an exemption of over $10 million per couple, most of us will not pay an estate tax, and our children may pay capital gains tax unless we change to a Joint Legacy Trust.
*Forbes Magazine, March 2014: "Freebasing your Estate". If you would like a free copy of this article, please call me and I will be happy to send you a copy.