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The Living Trust Advisor: Everything You (and Your Financial Planner) Need to Know about Your Living Trust, 2nd Edition



The Living Trust Advisor: Everything You (and Your Financial Planner) Need to Know about Your Living Trust, 2nd Edition

Jeffrey L. Condon

ISBN: 978-1-119-07394-9 December 2015 416 Pages


A comprehensive guide to living trusts, with expert financial and legal guidance

The Living Trust Advisor is an expert guide for both advisors and their clients on the complex process of establishing, living with, and maintaining a living trust. Written by renowned family inheritance attorney Jeffrey L. Condon, this book discusses the various aspects of this important document, and shows you how to manage a seamless transfer of assets to various beneficiaries. This new second edition has been fully updated and revised to reflect the extensive changes to the Estate Tax Law that have taken place since the initial publication, giving you the most up-to-date information and guidance on preserving your wealth and helping your heirs avoid estate tax liability. You'll develop a vision for your trust before you ever meet with an attorney or other key players, and learn how to establish and maintain a trust that remains rock-solid for your lifetime and beyond.

As the living trust has replaced the will as the primary means of settling after-death estates, clear guidance and current legal information is of utmost importance for advisors and clients alike. This book is a valuable resource for every stage of planning and execution, helping you ensure that you provide for your beneficiaries the way you intend.

  • Know what to think about before your first meeting with a lawyer
  • Establish and manage your living trust to carry out your wishes
  • Identify potential inheritance problems and build solutions into the trust
  • Distribute assets to future generations, and protect them after the transfer

Dealing with complex financial and legal issues while facing our own mortality is a difficult task, but making these decisions is critical to the future outcome of your estate. The Living Trust Advisor expertly guides you through the process so you can be confident that your wishes will be carried out.

Pregame Warm-Up Or, Read This Before You Read This Book xiii

Acknowledgments xxv

The First Quarter: Establishing Your Living Trust 1

Chapter 1 How You Established Your Living Trust Without a Clear Understanding of What It Is and How It Works Or, You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know about Your Living Trust 3

Chapter 2 What Does the Living Trust Do, and How Does It Do It? Or, The Best Explanation of the Living Trust You Will Ever Get 11

Chapter 3 Do You Really Need a Living Trust? Or, Don’t Let Someone Sell You Something You Don’t Need 17

Chapter 4 Establishing Your Living Trust Or, No Better Way to Get Started . . . Than to Get Started 26

Chapter 5 Who Should You Select as the Lifetime Agent of Your Living Trust? Or, If You Become Incapacitated, Will Your Lifetime Agent Manage Your Living Trust for Your Benefit . . . or for His? 39

Chapter 6 You Can Select Your Children as Your After-Death Agent, but Will They Carry Out Your Living Trust’s Inheritance Instructions? Or, “That Was Our Parents’ Wish, But It Ain’t Our Wish” 54

The Second Quarter: Living with Your Living Trust During the Lifetimes of You and Your Spouse 67

Chapter 7 Functions of Your Living Trust While Both You and Your Spouse Are Alive Or, Don’t Quite Forget about Your Living Trust after You Have Thrown It into Your Safe-Deposit Box 69

Chapter 8 The Five Concerns about the Real Estate You Transferred to Your Living Trust Or, You Still Own Your House! 86

Chapter 9 Should You Tell Your Children about Your Living Trust? Or, Don’t Dismiss the Chance to Have a Family Inheritance Meeting—specially If the Lawyer Won’t Charge You 96

The Third Quarter Living with Your Living Trust after the Death of Your Spouse 105

Chapter 10 Will You Divert Your Deceased Spouse’s Half of the Living Trust Assets from Your Offspring? Or, How to Make Your Children Fret and Hope That You Will Do the Right Thing 107

Chapter 11 The Power to Change Your Deceased Spouse’s Inheritance Instructions . . . or Not! Or, If Your Child’s Vice Dissipates after Your Spouse Dies, Are You Allowed to Change Your Spouse’s Inheritance Instructions to Meet That Change? 115

Chapter 12 Dealing with Your Living Trust If You Remarry Or, The Battle Royal: Your Second Spouse Versus Your First Children 125

Chapter 13 Dealing with the Estate Tax Return, Splitting the Living Trust Assets, and  O her Tax Stuff That You Would Rather Just Ignore after Your Spouse Dies Or, As Much as You Want to, Don’t Skip This Chapter! To Prevent Estate Taxes after Your Death, You Must Deal with Estate Tax Matters after Your Spouse’s Death 133

The Fourth Quarter Dying with Your Living Trust 163

Chapter 14 Distribution of Your Living Trust after Both You and Your Spouse Are Dead Or, The Inheritance Arena Is Not for the Fainthearted 165

Chapter 15 Don’t Intentionally Leave Your Children Unequal Inheritances Or, So What If One Needs It More Than the Other? 171

Chapter 16 The Accidental Unequal Inheritance Or, If You Think You Have Treated Your Children Equally by Leaving Them Equal Inheritances, I Have Some News for You! 178

Chapter 17 Don’t Make a Child Who Owes You Money a Debtor to Your Other Children Or, An Unforgiven and Unpaid Loan to a Child Can Wreak Havoc after Your Death 187

Chapter 18 Do Not Leave Your Child an Outright Inheritance Or, I’m Not Kidding! Don’t Leave Your Child an Outright Inheritance 195

Chapter 19 Using Your Living Trust to Force Your Child into a Conventional Lifestyle Or, If the Twig Is Bent, Will Force Do Anything to Straighten It Out? 230

Chapter 20 The Success of the Third-Party Irrevocable Protection Trust (PUPPET) Depends on Whom You’ve Selected as the Third Party Or, Try Not to Appoint One Private Person to Hold and Manage Money for Another Private Person 237

Chapter 21 Who Are Your Grandchildren? Or, Do You Really Want Your Living Trust Assets to Ultimately Wind Up with Your Son’s Second Wife’s Kids from Her First Marriage? 247

Chapter 22 The IRS Is Back! And This Time, It’s for Real! Or, “Sorry about Your Parents’ Deaths. That Will Be $200,000, Please.” 254

Chapter 23 Who Pays the Estate Tax? Or, Don’t Make One Person Pay the Estate Tax on Living Trust Gifts That Go to Another Person 265

Postgame: Review and Lessons Learned 277

Chapter 24 Question and Answer Time! Or, Take the Opportunity to Ask This Expensive Lawyer Your Questions . . . at No Charge 279

Chapter 25 A Random Sampling of Cautionary Tales from the Inheritance Arena Or, Read About, and Learn from, My Previous Mistakes and the Mistakes of My Clients 298

About the Author Or, An Invitation from the Author to Contact Him at No Charge 371

Index 375