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Question for the Money Doctors

Question submitted on Apr 23, 2010.

Question

Can a married couple set up an irrevocable trust and be the trustees of it?

Answer

This question should be confirmed by your estate planning attorney but generally speaking the couple could be co-trustees of an irrevocable trust that they set up as the co-grantors. The primary reason most people set up an irrevocable trust is for estate and tax considerations. Thus, it is important in this type of situation to properly structure and administer the trust in order to avoid causing estate inclusion to the couple. There is an opportunity over the next 21 months for larger estates with the $5 million exemption through the end of 2012 so depending on the married couple's situation they could possibly utilized this technique as part of the estate plan. This topic is complicated to ensure that the objectives of forming the trust are met and the grantors do not trigger estate inclusion, so an estate attorney experienced with this set up should be consulted.


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