The Spousal Lifetime Access Trust

By Steven J. Oshins, Esq., AEP (Distinguished) Imagine that there is a type of trust that you can set up where you can transfer assets and not only protect them from creditors and estate tax, but also have access to them through your spouse.  No, this is not a hypothetical world where there are rainbows and unicorns!  This world really does exist! This trust is often called a Spousal Lifetime Access Trust, or “SLAT” for short.  Most people are aware of the completed gift version where estate tax avoidance is the primary motivating factor.  However, there are really two different…

The Philosophy Behind Protecting Assets from Creditors

By Steven J. Oshins, Esq., AEP (Distinguished) Asset protection has become necessary for just about every physician, every businessman, and every person with even reasonably substantial wealth.  It has become customary to have some form of an asset protection trust. As we see case law develop in the asset protection area, it seems that every time a new decision is issued there are numerous blogs and comments made about the case at conferences, whether positive or negative.  The litigators generally claim that the new case spells the end of the technique that was used and failed to work in this…

Which Trust Jurisdiction is a “Champ-Champ”?

By Steven J. Oshins, Esq., AEP (Distinguished) A “Champ-Champ” is someone who holds two championship belts simultaneously.  And one other option is to call such a person “Double Champ”. In determining which trust jurisdiction is a Champ-Champ, we must focus on the three most important titles to hold:  Best Dynasty Trust Jurisdiction, Best Domestic Asset Protection Trust Jurisdiction and Best Trust Decanting Jurisdiction. The Top Trust Jurisdictions If you ask most people, Alaska, Delaware, Nevada and South Dakota (in alphabetical order) are the top trust jurisdictions.  However, a lot of this has to do with marketing. The technicians in our…

Steve Oshins: Interview About the 2019 State Rankings Charts and State Income Tax Chart

By Steven J. Oshins, Esq., AEP (Distinguished) While at the WealthCounsel Symposium in Boston, we at The Ultimate Estate Planner (“UEP”) had the opportunity to sit down and interview nationally-known estate planning and asset protection attorney, Steve Oshins (“SJO”).  The interview consisted of a number of questions related to his State Rankings Charts and State Income Tax Chart. UEP: Please tell us about your charts and where they can be accessed. SJO:  I currently have four charts.  Three of the charts rank the states that have the best Domestic Asset Protection Trust laws, Dynasty Trust laws and Decanting laws, respectively. …

The Kaestner Case and the New Emphasis on Using Non-Grantor Trusts to Save State Income Tax

By Steven J. Oshins, Esq., AEP (Distinguished) Estate planners are constantly looking for additional ways to save taxes for their clients.  One often-overlooked concept is to use trusts to save state income taxes, especially for those clients who reside in a state with a high state income tax.  Ironically, income tax savings is generally the most appreciated work we do for our clients given that they can personally enjoy the savings, but yet the planning opportunities are frequently missed. Different states have different rules as to what creates a “resident trust” that is subject to taxation in that state.  States…

Using a Corporate Trustee to Obtain Jurisdiction in a First-Tier Trust State

By Steven J. Oshins, Esq., AEP (Distinguished) There is a misconception that using a corporate trustee, such as a bank or trust company, is difficult and costly.  However, this couldn’t be further from the truth.  This misconception causes roughly 99% of estate planners to avoid using other states’ more favorable trust laws which therefore harms their clients and the families of their clients. There are only a handful of first-tier trust jurisdictions.  Trusts sitused in these jurisdictions can often avoid state income taxes on undistributed taxable income and are often better protected from creditors of the beneficiaries, including divorcing spouses….

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Oshins: DAPTs vs. Hybrid DAPTs

By Steven J. Oshins, Esq., AEP (Distinguished) Testing his theory that in every man dwells a good and an evil force, the reserved Dr. Jekyll develops a formula that separates the two, turning him into an argumentative estate planning attorney named Mr. Oshins who tells it like it is. Dr. Jekyll soon realizes he is becoming addicted to his darker self as he unleashes his opinions on the estate planning industry. In this article, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Oshins tackle the issue of whether a resident of a state that has no Domestic Asset Protection Trust (“DAPT”) statute should use…

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Oshins: Nevada vs. Delaware Dynasty Trusts

By Steven J. Oshins, Esq., AEP (Distinguished) Testing his theory that in every man dwells a good and an evil force, the reserved Dr. Jekyll develops a formula that separates the two, turning him into an argumentative estate planning attorney named Mr. Oshins who tells it like it is. Dr. Jekyll soon realizes he is becoming addicted to his darker self as he unleashes his opinions on the estate planning industry. In this article, Dr. Jekyll tackles the issue of which trust jurisdiction is superior for Dynasty Trusts, Nevada or Delaware. As expected, Mr. Oshins will provide a different view…

What Trust Jurisdictions Other than Alaska, Delaware, Nevada and South Dakota Are Best?

By Steven J. Oshins, Esq., AEP (Distinguished) Some of these jurisdictions are up-and-comers and others are underrated.  This article focuses on the “Other Four States”. Most practitioners focus on Alaska, Delaware, Nevada and South Dakota as the Big Four States when it comes to selecting a trust situs.  These four states collectively receive a substantial amount of the out-of-state trust business, in part because of their spectacular laws and in part because of their longevity as trust heavyweights. However, there are other states that are more than respectable and worthy of praise.  And in many aspects they are competitive with…

2019 ABA Heckerling Reports from 53rd Annual Heckerling Institute

For the past 22 years, the American Bar Association Section of Real Property, Trust and Estate Law with the permission of the University of Miami School of Law, releases several extensive reports highlighting the various lectures and proceedings of the Heckerling Institute, one of the nation’s largest estate planning conferences, held every year in January. This week in Orlando, Florida, the 53rd Annual Heckerling Institute on Estate Planning took place.  To view, download and access these extensive reports (which are still being updated and added), see below. Further, at the above website, you can also access reports from prior Heckerling…