Does a Living Trust provide federal estate tax advantages?

A living trust does not typically provide any tax advantages.  Its primary purpose is to keep your property out of probate.

The current thresholds required to trigger a federal estate tax are very high - over $12 million per individual. When a married couple's Living Trust includes A/B provisions, it's possible for up to a little more than $24 million be in their estate before federal estate tax is due. As a result, few individuals have significant enough wealth to worry about triggering a federal estate tax liability upon their death.

When needed, our platform will automatically create the A/B Provisions designed to help avoid double taxation by placing a deceased spouse's assets in an irrevocable “B” trust upon their death, but allowing the surviving spouse to use any property and receive the income that assets produce during their lifetime. That way, the surviving spouse does not legally own the assets in the "B" trust and they won't be included in their own $12million estate tax exemption at their death.

Some states also impose taxes on property transferred because of death. Given the extremely high federal exemptions, you are more likely trigger estate taxes at the state level than you will pay a federal estate tax. If your state has estate tax and the state threshold is lower than the federal one, we will include A/B provisions in your married joint trust to assist with minimizing a state estate tax, just as we do with the federal estate tax.