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Estate Planning

Marital Trust

The Estate Planning lawyers at the Elder & Disability Law Center provide comprehensive estate planning advice and legal services to individuals and families in the Washington, D.C. area, Maryland, and Virginia. Please contact us for a consultation a marital trust or any other estate planning option.

A marital trust can be used in conjunction with a credit shelter trust to minimize estate taxes. If one spouse has assets of over $5.43 million, a marital trust may be a useful estate planning tool. The first $5.43 million will go into a credit shelter trust to take advantage of the $5.43 million estate tax exemption. Any amount over the $5.43 million can then either be directly distributed to the spouse under the unlimited marital deduction, or can be placed into a marital trust for the benefit of the surviving spouse. The surviving spouse receives the income from the trust for life and has control over the principal.

However, the surviving spouse cannot make a direct distribution of the trust assets upon his/her death. Instead, the assets go to whichever beneficiaries you choose when you establish the trust. Thus, you determine who the assets will ultimately pass to, while passing the assets exempt from estate taxes. This trust is ideal for spouses in a second marriage.

An experienced Estate Planning attorney can help you custom-tailor your estate plan and determine if a marital trust is right for you and your family. Contact an Estate Planning lawyer at the Elder & Disability Law Center for a consultation.