Testamentary Credit Shelter Trusts

A complex Will or a complex revocable living trust agreement can be prepared in a manner so that an individual can take advantage of the estate tax applicable exclusion amount at his or her death by retaining the amount which will be offset by his or her estate tax applicable exclusion amount as of the date of his or her death (See Table A) in a trust for the benefit of the surviving spouse. By retaining the assets having a value equal to the estate tax applicable exclusion amount for the year of the first spouse's death in a testamentary credit shelter trust, the trust can provide for the economic well-being of the surviving spouse while preventing that sum from being taxed in the 
surviving spouse's estate at his or her death. 

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