If decanting makes sense, pay careful attention to the statutory requirements under which the decanting is achieved. Planning for the inevitable of aging is emotionally difficult to face.
One common restriction on decanting is not adding new beneficiaries, as confirmed in a recent case. Practical steps such as consolidating assets, organizing and computerizing records, involving children or others who will serve in fiduciary capacities so that they are aware of their roles, and more, is essential.
This might well help whittle your estate down over the years to below the inflation adjusted federal exemption. Maximizing basis and minimizing estate tax can all be accomplished but you have to weigh the cost, complexity and economic risks of any technique you consider.
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That might mean that proper planning should work just fine.
Also, the number of states that permit self-settled trusts has grown over the years and is now 15.
Might a disgruntled beneficiary argue that merely administering the trust you have, without addressing the potential for modifying that trust, isn’t sufficient? ■ Aging: Alzheimer's affects 47 percent of those over 85. Addressing the issues of an aging are critical for many.
How will the cost and complexity of trust administration change if you as a trustee cannot assume that the governing instrument can be relied upon as the governing instrument? Taxes, while unquestionably an exciting cocktail party topic, are just not as important for many folks as more complex fuzzy personal topics.
Other states permit self-settled-like trusts (you can set up a marital trust for your spouse and on his or her demise the assets come flow into a credit shelter trust that you are a beneficiary of).