Joint Exempt Step-Up Trust (“JEST”) Legal Document Form

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Can a married couple in a non-community property state establish a joint revocable trust that will facilitate obtaining a date of death stepped-up basis on the death of the first dying spouse, and the full funding of a credit shelter trust (to the extent of the first dying spouse’s estate tax exemption) that can benefit the surviving spouse and descendants without being subject to federal estate tax on the surviving spouse’s death?

After extensively researching these issues and reviewing alternative structures, attorneys Alan S. Gassman, J.D., LL.M. (Taxation), Florida State Bar Certified Specialist in Wills, Trusts & Estates and Christopher J. Denicolo, J.D., LL.M. (Estate Planning), MBA have designed a joint trust planning technique known as the “Joint Exempt Step-Up Trust” (or “JEST” Trust for short).

The JEST is designed to allow a married couple in a common law state to make maximum use of the first dying spouse’s unused estate tax exemption by fully funding a credit shelter trust upon the first dying spouse’s death, even if this requires using assets contributed by the surviving spouse. With proper structuring the joint trust can provide a full step-up in basis for all of the trust assets.

Mr. Gassman and Mr. Denicolo have teamed up with The Ultimate Estate Planner, Inc. and are pleased to announce the release of…

The Joint Exempt Step-Up Trust (“JEST”)
Legal Document Form Package

 

What’s included in The Joint Exempt Step-Up Trust (“JEST”) Legal Document Form Package?

The Joint Exempt Step-Up Trust (“JEST”) Legal Document Form Package comes with a Data CD-ROM containing the following:

  • The JEST Trust (Joint Trust) Legal Document Form which comes in a 66-page modifiable Microsoft Word document with all of the necessary provisions to implement the JEST Trust for your clients.
  • A Client Explanation Letter to be given to clients to help them understand what the JEST Trust is, what options they have and provide them a thorough overview of the JEST Trust they received.
  • The JEST Trust Steps Chart which shows the four steps from drafting to implementation of the JEST Trust strategy.
  • A JEST Trust Marketing Handout which is a modifiable one-page flyer summarizing the JEST Trust, its benefits and why clients should consider this strategy in their overall estate planning. This flyer can be used with clients, prospective clients and professional referral sources.
  • The “JEST Lite” Legal Document Form which comes in a 41-page modifiable Microsoft Word document and was developed to accommodate clients with smaller asset basis who do not want the complexity associated with the complete JEST, but want a good chance at a stepped-up income tax basis of all trust assets on the first death. The JEST Lite can also provide the benefit of having all trust assets locked up in trust for the benefit of the surviving spouse upon the death of the first dying spouse.
  • The JEST Lite Summary Sheet which is a simple one-page flyer explaining the “JEST Lite” in a client-friendly and plain-English format.
  • A Free Trial of EstateView Software

All of the legal document forms come in a modifiable Microsoft Word format for you to be able to easily modify, edit and assemble (or add to your existing word processing software). The documents included in this package were originally designed and drafted for Mr. Gassman’s law firm based out of Florida, so purchasers will need to review the documents and their individual state laws and statutes.

NOTE: This is NOT a software program and there are no automated/macro-type functions with our forms.

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