Stein Sperling attorneys understand that every individual, couple or family entering into the estate planning process has nuances that may require advanced planning solutions. These strategies can be used alone or in combination to ensure accurate disposition of assets while limiting tax burdens.
A client wishing to protect his or her spouse may choose to establish a “bypass trust” or a “marital trust” (also known as a “QTIP”). On the other hand, parents wanting to protect their children and future generations may opt to form “generation-skipping” or “dynasty” trusts. These strategies, customized to each client’s particular circumstances and goals, often protect assets against estate taxes that may be imposed upon future generations. The trusts also preserve the inherited assets, not only from potential creditors but often as separate property in case of divorce. Additionally, we regularly assist clients in forming irrevocable life insurance trusts (ILITs), an option for sheltering life insurance proceeds from estate taxes and creditors.
Our planning techniques may include the formation of external entities such as family limited partnerships or limited liability companies, charitable trusts, grantor retained annuity trusts (GRATs and GRUTs), grantor retained income trusts (GRITs), qualified personal residence trusts (QPRTs) and other Grantor Trust options, all of which seek to incorporate lifetime wealth transfers into the estate plan.
For clients caring for a loved one with special needs, we are able to create special-needs trusts. Such entities protect our clients’ assets for the future benefit of their disabled or special-needs loved one, while ensuring he or she will still be eligible for government benefits.