What Is the Spousal Lifetime Access Trust?


Have you ever thought about using irrevocable trusts as part of your estate planning? If not, you can work with an attorney to help you accomplish this. Talking with a lawyer can help you navigate the process of determining what is best for your individual needs.

Using an irrevocable trust is a powerful strategy for accomplishing multiple estate planning goals. Since the current Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is set to end at the end of 2025, you may choose to instead shift your assets into an irrevocable trust. One popular kind of irrevocable trust is known as a spousal lifetime access trust. This trust is created to allow your spouse access to the assets inside. This means the spouse is the primary beneficiary of assets in the trust and descendants are the secondary beneficiaries.

Since there are no transfer tax consequences for giving assets to your spouse, this also means that when your trust is properly structured with the help of a knowledgeable estate planning attorney, those assets may not be taxed at the time of your death.

You can also set the trust up such that if your spouse passes away or you get a divorce, then the assets pass to the next beneficiaries in line. Although it may seem like the end of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is far off, now is a great time to communicate with your estate planning lawyer about what to know and how to structure your plan, as well as considerations you may wish to think about in the near future should the law change again.

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