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August 29th, 2011

What is a Simple Trust?

(Estate Planners) - As far as the Internal Revenue Service is concerned, and for the purpose of taxation, there are two types of trusts, simple and complex. If a trust is classified as simple, this merely refers to how the trustee distributes income to the beneficiaries of the trust.

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August 22nd, 2011

What is a Grantor Trust?

(Estate Planners) - One type of grantor trust that is useful in estate planning is a grantor trust. This trust allows the grantor (the individual who establishes the trust) to have control over the trust assets and receive income that is created from the trust. The grantor trust is often called a living trust or a revocable trust.

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August 15th, 2011

What is a Dynasty Trust?

(Estate Planners) - A dynasty trust is a type of generation-skipping trust that can provide substantial savings on estate tax. When you consider the fact that estate tax can climb to a rate that is as much as fifty-five percent, and that each generation will have to pay estate taxes, you could hypothetically save up to eighty percent of your estate throughout the course of three generations.

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August 8th, 2011

What is a Crummey Trust?

(Estate Planners) - Don’t let its name fool you; the Crummey trust is a very viable option in estate planning. The Crummey trust can be used to legally avoid the payment of estate or gift tax when transferring money or other assets to someone else. And as a bonus, the grantor (person establishing the Crummey trust) can still specify to a certain degree how the transferred money and assets are used.

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July 25th, 2011

What is a Video Will?

(Estate Planners) - Customarily, when a person creates a last will and testament, or will, the will is drafted as a formal written document with specific language that is valid for the jurisdiction where the will is written. This will formally and legally dictates how the testator (the person making the will) wishes to dispose of and distribute their property and assets when they die.

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July 18th, 2011

What is a Testamentary Trust Will?

(Estate Planners) - A common estate planning tool is the testamentary trust will. This type of will is used to set up a trust or trusts that part of or all of your estate will be transferred into when you die. The testamentary trust will is sometimes just referred to as a ‘testamentary trust’ and is similar in structure to the family trust, but with some distinct differences that can be very advantageous over other types of trusts, particularly if you are planning on leaving your estate to minor heirs, young adults, or children with disabilities.

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July 11th, 2011

What is a Statutory Will?

(Estate Planners) - One of the simplest wills is the statutory will. The statutory will is a standard legal form that a testator (person making a will) completes by filling in particular information and checking boxes. The statutory will is binding and considering legally valid in only a handful of states, so simply downloading and printing a statutory will form and then filling it out certainly gives no guarantees that it will ever be accepted in the jurisdiction where you live, unless you have checked to be sure that your state recognizes such a form.

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June 13th, 2011

What is an Oral Will?

(Estate Planners) - An oral will, also sometimes referred to as a nuncupative will, as the name suggests, is merely a verbal accounting of a testator of how he or she wishes for property and assets to be distributed upon death. The oral will is similar to a traditional (written) will, but is spoken. It is rare for an oral will to be used in modern times, although it is certainly a viable option in some circumstances, such as in an emergency situation where there is no time for a written will to be prepared before death occurs.

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June 6th, 2011

What is a Joint Will?

(Estate Planners) - When two people make a will together, the instrument is known as a joint will. In a joint will, the two people making the will bequeath all of their assets and property to one another. The joint will also contains provisions concerning the distribution of assets and property when the second person passes away.

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May 30th, 2011

What is a Holographic or Handwritten Will?

(Estate Planners) - The holographic or handwritten will is a “step above” having no will at all. This type of will is considered valid in many states; in fact, in almost thirty states, even a holographic or handwritten will that has not been witnessed is valid. The holographic will must be prepared in the handwriting of the testator. Even in states that recognize the validity of a handwritten will, the laws are very strict and particular.

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