Some questions went unanswered at my recent webinar about estate planning techniques financial planners need to know about as 2014 begins. Below are answers to questions from attendees about when portability might be relied upon, the use of non-grantor trusts, and the disposition of digital assets at death.
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Doesn't using portability allow for very low-basis assets to gain the advantage of the step-up in basis rules—of course, at the cost of the potential growth of the assets over time? Are there then not good reasons to rely on portability versus a Credit Shelter Trust?
You can achieve portability by using a marital QTIP trust and still achieve asset protection. Other good reasons are set forth on the last slide of my presentation, which is presented above
Can you gift out of a Roth IRA within the first five years established into some trust?
If you already are 59½ and you convert traditional IRA assets to a Roth, you can withdraw the assets you convert at any time without worrying about a five-year deadline or penalties. Again, it is a different story with any earnings on those assets: You must have held a Roth account for five years to withdraw any earnings tax free. But you generally don't need to worry about separating the converted funds from the earnings, since the withdrawal rules for Roth IRAs say that any distributions first come from contributions, then from conversions, and finally from earnings. As for a transfer to a trust, you may be able to transfer to a grantor trust but I suggest a PLR for this as it can be tricky.
Can I designate, in my will, who will own the rights to my digital assets? For example some digital assets will belong to my children and some will belong to my company.
Yes, but subject to the Internet Service Provider agreement
Do you help in giving second opinion on trusts?
Yes, please contact me.