SLATs are a great way for married couples to utilize their current combined gift tax exemptions of $10.24 million, while retaining access to the gifted property should they need it.
If you want to maximize your estate tax savings under the current $5.12 million, don’t delay! The estate and gift-tax exemption is set to expire at the end of 2012.
So, how can spouses maximize their giveaways and still retain some takeaways when it comes to their wealth? Forbes recently considered this question in an article titled “Spousal Lifetime Access Trusts–Use Your Gift Tax Exemption Without Giving It All Away.” The answer: a Spousal Lifetime Access Trust – SLAT.
Essentially, with the SLAT approach, each spouse can give their respective $5.12 million exemption amounts into separate irrevocable trusts. However, each spouse also names the other as the SLAT beneficiary and other loved ones (their children, commonly) as secondary beneficiaries.
SLATs are a great way to maximize your estate tax savings while also maintaining access to your gifted property. With time running out for 2012, don’t miss this opportunity before the rules change next year!
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Reference: Forbes (August 9, 2012) “Spousal Lifetime Access Trusts–Use Your Gift Tax Exemption Without Giving It All Away