An Irrevocable Trust vs. an A/B Trust: Pros and Cons
The A/B Trust used to be one of the most popular estate planning products in a lawyer’s arsenal. Here’s how it previously worked: The first spouse dies and that spouse’s assets are placed into a trust using the first spouse’s estate tax exemption. The second spouse dies and their assets go to the children using the second spouse’s estate tax exemption. The assets in the first spouse’s trust then are passed to the children, thereby using both spouses estate tax exemption.
After years of this, the estate tax code was re-written combining the spouse’s exemptions making the A/B trust obsolete for this purpose. Some lawyers continue to use this method of estate planning even though it does some things poorly and others not at all. Although an A/B trust will pass the assets to the beneficiaries as good as other products, it has problems in the areas of privacy, asset protection, and Medicaid planning.
First, an A/B method of estate planning offers absolutely NO asset protection benefits while both spouses are alive and minimal protection after one spouse passes. In fact, if an attorney for a lawsuit checks a person who created an A/B trust for assets, they will see that they still own the assets in their name. While both spouses are alive, depending on how the lawyer drew up the estate plan, either each spouse has their assets in their own name with a will including a testamentary trust (a trust that doesn’t exist until death) or they each have their own revocable trust with half the marital assets.The A/B Trust used to be one of the most popular estate planning products in a lawyer’s arsenal. Here’s how it previously worked: The first spouse dies and that spouse’s assets are placed into a trust using the first spouse’s estate tax exemption. The second spouse dies and their assets go to the children using the second spouse’s estate tax exemption. The assets in the first spouse’s trust then are passed to the children, thereby using both spouses estate tax exemption.
Having assets in one’s own name or assets in a revocable trust doesn’t help for asset protection. In both scenarios, one has access to the assets, which means that one’s creditors can attach these assets as well as courts in the event of a lawsuit. After one spouse passes, the will creates an irrevocable trust or, alternatively, the revocable trust becomes irrevocable. The deceased spouse’s assets are now in an irrevocable trust and protected from creditors and the courts, but chances are that the prime years to get sued or go in debt happened a long time ago. Why not have an irrevocable trust in the first place?The A/B Trust used to be one of the most popular estate planning products in a lawyer’s arsenal. Here’s how it previously worked: The first spouse dies and that spouse’s assets are placed into a trust using the first spouse’s estate tax exemption. The second spouse dies and their assets go to the children using the second spouse’s estate tax exemption. The assets in the first spouse’s trust then are passed to the children, thereby using both spouses estate tax exemption.
An A/B trust also offers little protection from a Medicaid spend-down. Again, like above, while the spouses are alive, they will be subject to a Medicaid spend-down in order to qualify for long-term care benefits. The community spouse can keep a predetermined amount, but the rest will be spent down to a minimal amount ($1,500-2,000, depending on the state). Also, again, once one spouse dies, those assets are protected from the spend-down, but the other half of the assets are subject to the other spouses long-term care bills. An irrevocable trust would protect 100% of all of the assets.The A/B Trust used to be one of the most popular estate planning products in a lawyer’s arsenal. Here’s how it previously worked: The first spouse dies and that spouse’s assets are placed into a trust using the first spouse’s estate tax exemption. The second spouse dies and their assets go to the children using the second spouse’s estate tax exemption. The assets in the first spouse’s trust then are passed to the children, thereby using both spouses estate tax exemption.
An A/B trust doesn’t really do anything well. Instead of protecting half of the assets, a good irrevocable trust can protect all of the assets. The irrevocable trust takes all of the assets out of both spouse’s names so that they don’t own them anymore. If they don’t have title, the assets aren’t counted by Medicaid, aren’t included in the calculation for the estate tax, and cannot be found in a public record as being owned by you, thus they can’t be taken by creditors in the event of a lawsuit. In fact, if an attorney for a prospective lawsuit checks a person who created an irrevocable trust to hold assets, they won’t see any assets in your name and the lawyer probably won’t be interested in taking the case against you on a contingency basis. The lawsuit is stopped before it starts. There is a downside of an irrevocable trust; the persons creating it don’t have ownership of the assets past what they put in the trust documents. So, for the scared, there is the A/B trust and for the protected, the Ultra Trust irrevocable trust.The A/B Trust used to be one of the most popular estate planning products in a lawyer’s arsenal. Here’s how it previously worked: The first spouse dies and that spouse’s assets are placed into a trust using the first spouse’s estate tax exemption. The second spouse dies and their assets go to the children using the second spouse’s estate tax exemption. The assets in the first spouse’s trust then are passed to the children, thereby using both spouses estate tax exemption.
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26. Entire agreement
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modified: Feb 21, 2014
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19. Contact Information
Newton, Massachusetts 02466
The MyUltraTrust Satisfaction Guarantee
Customer satisfaction is the goal of the services and support provided by MyUltraTrust. Building upon the advice and guidance we received from expert lawyers, business leaders, and CPAs when our company was founded in 1983, we continue to improve our services by leveraging the input from our clients over the past 30+ years to offer you the most powerful trust agreement and outstanding services in the United States. Because our clients want a company that stands behind its products and services, MyUltraTrust guarantees customer satisfaction by resolving a client’s concerns or by offering a refund or credit toward future purchases.
What You Must Do
Clients who are not satisfied with documents or services furnished by MyUltraTrust should call us toll-free at (855) 219-8800 during normal business hours. As long as we receive your request within 30 days from the date of your purchase, we will act upon it within five (5) business days from the date we receive the return of the documents and materials with which you are dissatisfied.
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What We Will Do
If we cannot resolve the issue to your satisfaction, we will give you credit for the price you paid for the item within five (5) business days of our receipt of the returned item. The purchase price of the returned product will be credited to your MyUltraTrust account and may be used to purchase other products or services. Please note that we cannot give you credit for fees paid to third parties, such as government entities, attorneys, accountants or others, who participated in the processing of your order.
Using Credit for Future Purchases
You may use the credit we give you on the returned or exchanged product within 30 days from the date of purchase of the original product. If you do not use the credit within that period of time, or if the cost of the new product or service is less than cost of the the original product, the amount of the credit will be refunded to you in the same manner as your original form of payment. Credit card purchases will be credited back to the card used to make the purchase, and payments made by check will refunded by a check from MyUltraTrust that will be mailed to the billing address we have on file for you.
What MyUltraTrust Cannot Do
MyUltraTrust stands behind its products, but we cannot guarantee specific results or outcomes, nor can we be responsible for delays in processing caused by third parties over whom we have no control. The MyUltraTrust guarantee of satisfaction does not apply to services or products provided by third parties.
We at MyUltraTrust understand that a client’s needs and wishes might change, or there might be changes to a client’s personal or financial circumstances. Because we have invested significant time and effort to making certain you are getting the best money can buy for a fraction of the cost, this MyUltraTrust guarantee only covers satisfaction issues caused by MyUltraTrust - not changes for which we cannot be held responsible for such as your situation or your state of mind.
Updated Feb 10, 2014
Americans spend billions every year on estate planning and trusts in order to protect their wealth which they accumulated over their decades of hard work, stress, and ingenuity. With their life savings on the line, they want to hire the best attorney's, accountants, and estate planning experts to help them protect and grow it.
Most experts agree that a properly drafted, implemented, and funded irrevocable trust is one the strongest ways for people to protect their assets from creditors, the nursing home, divorce, the estate tax, and probate.
Often times folks put off taking action on setting up a formal plan because of the exorbitant cost of an irrevocable trust from a top legal team.
My Ultra Trust was developed for those that want the best, strongest asset protection planning available and know enough about their benefits, but don't want to spend a fortune to hire the top team in the country to execute it. There is enough information on the internet, that they feel confident in doing it themselves with the guidance of a platform that guides you in the direction you need to be successful in achieving your goals.
The MyUltraTrust.com 3-step process was founded by leading attorneys, CPA's, and Business Strategist's who take a holistic approach and advocate the strongest way to do things that have been learned over the last 30 years of complications and clients' heated battles with their foes. This deep expertise developed over the decades is how and why we can offer streamlined process and give you the strongest and flexible Irrevocable Trust available. There are no complex instructions to follow and nothing to download or print. Our online questionnaire will guide you step-by-step through our convenient process.
Thank you from the Team at MyUltraTrust.com