ESTATE PLANNING UPDATES, AMENDMENTS AND RESTATEMENTS
Estate plans should be reviewed periodically and updated with significant life events and changes in the law. Another goal in updating plans is to simplify administration. For example, just few years ago it was very popular for attorneys to use “ABC Trusts” to minimize estate taxation on medium sized estates. An ABC Trust requires that the estate be split into and managed as two or three sub-trusts upon the death of the first spouse. Now, due to changes in tax laws, most of these estates could attain the same tax minimization by using a simple Survivor’s Trust and having an option to create a Disclaimer Trust. There will always be a need for complex estate planning techniques to maximize wealth protection in larger estates. For most estates, the simplest plan which accomplishes the client’s desires is the best because (1) it minimizes the time and cost of administration and (2) it minimizes the liability exposure for the Trustee, usually a friend or family member, charged with carrying out the plan.