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Living Trust

When the colonists arrived in the Americas, they did so to escape the tyranny of the British who’s sole intention was to hold a heavy hand of taxation without representation upon the Pilgrims fleeing a repressive government. They brought documents to prevent any repression that may continue to occur no matter what the future of the society they were building created for their heirs. The Living Trust was one of those cherished documents Pilgrims brought with them and left for us to protect the estates that free men and women build and leave behind for their heirs to enjoy and continue to build-> without the interference of our government taxing heirs leaving little behind for their progeny.

**The following information is a cursory review of how a Living Trust functions**

The Benchmark

At present an individual can create and estate and pass on $12.06 million as an exclusion from estate taxes to their heirs and is adjusted annually. As a rule of thumb anything above the exclusion rate is taxed — as high as 40% –by our federal government including attorney fees. Be aware that the Politicians in office have introduced legislation to decrease the EXCLUSION BENCHMARK to $5 million per individual (as adjusted for inflation). What this means is that under a possible change in law, the Living Trust will pay an estate tax to our government if the estate is more than
$5 million.

Again -> what politicians are proposing is to bring down that exclusion benchmark to
$5 million so the government can walk away with what a person has created within their life time. There’s scuttlebutt on bring down the benchmark to below $5 million. Politicians love to tax whether via inflation or somehow changing the law and in essence are newly dressed British politicians in American clothing. wheeling their long arm of taxation without representation.

What to do if you are a successor trustee or a Living Trust:

All beneficiaries must be notified by the successor TRUSTEE and it doesn’t have to be sent in a fancy legal form. Simply write a letter (track it for proof that it was sent) and as long as it includes all the necessary information (and satisfies your state’s rules about content and format, if any) such meets your obligation. here are the essentials, in most states:

Explain that the Living Trust exists. Some beneficiaries may be well aware that the settlor created a Living Trust, but others may not know. Provide your name and contact information. Beneficiaries need to know how to get in touch with you. Inform the beneficiaries that they have the right to see a copy of the Living Trust document and that you will send them one upon request. You can go ahead and include a copy of the trust with your letter.

 

States that require notice to trust beneficiaries as of 2022.
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
District of Colombia
Kansas
Florida
Georgia
Iowa
Kentucky
Maine
Michigan

Addendum: For Californians

Can a Marital Living TRUST be changed After one spouse dies?

No, the Living Trustee Cannot do this. Once one of the parties has deceased the Living Trust becomes Irrevocable.

The potential disadvantages include:

Now, after one trustee passes, the use of the property has some restrictions on it. The Living Trustee can use a estate assets to maintain the same standard of living that existed when the deceased trustee was alive.

A Marital TRUST may have begun as a revocable living trust. But once the first spouse dies, it becomes an irrevocable trust. No changes can be made to the trust.

The surviving spouse’s rights to use the property are limited. At one time this may have been the marital home they shared with a beloved spouse. They could do as they pleased with the property. Now their use of the property has some restrictions on it.

There is paperwork and bookkeeping required with a Marital TRUST. The surviving Trustee needs a tax ID number
Use this form or call the IRS to order an I.D. number for your trust at the passing of the first or last trustee

Download PDF Here

Apply Online Here

Once one spouse dies, no changes can be made to the trust. This can Create Some Issues and has even caused frictions between the surviving spouse and the named beneficiaries of the trust. As mentioned, the surviving spouse’s rights to use the property are limited.

Once one party has deceased the Living Trust becomes Irrevocable & changes are illegal.

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