Better Wills

Physician's Money DigestSeptember30 2003
Volume 10
Issue 18


If your will instructs your executor toput the maximum amount allowedinto a bypass trust for your childrenwith the balance going to your spouse,you could be creating an ugly financialsituation. The current estate tax exclusionis $1 million and will rise to $3.5million by 2009. Putting that much intoa bypass trust could leave your spousein dire financial straits if the balanceisn't enough to live on. A better idea isto designate a specific dollar amountto go into the trust, with the rest of theestate passing to your spouse. Instead of leaving small bequests toseveral charities, encourage your heirsto make the donations in your memory,so that they can reap the tax benefitsof the charitable donation deduction.

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