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Trusts from Paler

From 2006.

INTRODUCTION

TO DO, OR NOT TO DO-IT-YOURSELF
A WORD OF CAUTION
I. THE DISPOSITION OF PROPERTY, WITH OR WITHOUT A WILL
A. Overview
B. Do I need a Will?
C. The simple, “reciprocal” Will
D. No special format or “magic words” are required for a valid Will
E. Community property
F. Life estates

II. THE PROBATE PROCESS
A. “Probate” is a court proceeding
B. The probate procedure involves three basic steps
C. The selection and duties of the Executor
D. A few more facts about Wills and Probate

III. TRUST BASICS
A. Definition of terms
B. The basic concept and its variations

IV. THE SIMPLE LIVING TRUST
A. Introduction
B. How it works after death
C. Choosing the appropriate Trustee arrangement

V. COMPARING SIMPLE LIVING TRUSTS and WILLS
A. Neither document resolves all your affairs
B. Cost comparison
C. Disposition and ongoing management of property
D. Planning for disability or incompetence
E. Ownership of real estate in multiple states
F. Time and publicity

VI. DISPOSITION OF PROPERTY OUTSIDE PROBATE
A. Overview
B. Joint tenancies with right of survivorship (JROS)
C. Qualified retirement plan benefits and IRAs
D. Life insurance proceeds
E. Gifts
F. Payable On Death (POD) bank accounts

VII. TAX ISSUES
A. What is included in your taxable estate for federal purposes?
B. Federal Gift and Estate Tax law in a nutshell
C. A simple living Trust will not save any tax
D. Lifetime gifts vs. transfers at death

VIII. OTHER ELEMENTS OF THE ESTATE PLAN
A. Durable Power of Attorney (POA)
B. Guardianship
C. Living Wills and Other Advance Medical Directives (AMDs)

IX. USING LIFE INSURANCE IN ESTATE PLANNING
A. Overview.
B. A few special uses of life insurance
C. The “discounted dollars” concept
D. The problems of policy ownership

X. SPECIALIZED TRUSTS and ESTATE PLANNING TOOLS
A. Overview
B. The Marital Deduction and Bypass Trust (the “A/B Trust”)
C. The irrevocable life insurance Trust (ILIT)
D. The Crummey Trust
E. Trusts for minors under tax code sections 2503(b) and 2503(c)
F. The Charitable Remainder Trust (CRT)
G. The Qualified Terminable Interest in Property (QTIP) Trust
H. The Family Limited Partnership (FLP) and “Valuation Planning”
I. The Grantor Retained Annuity Trust (GRAT)
J. The Qualified Personal Residence Trust (QPRT)

XI. PRESERVING YOUR ESTATE WITH LONG TERM CARE (L.T.C.) INSURANCE
A. The basic idea of L.T.C. insurance is simple
B. Benefit basics
C. Some things to consider in choosing a policy
For even better, expanded coverage see my new book, The AARP Crash Course in Estate Planning. Learn more

Your comments, suggestions and constructive criticism are welcome.

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