Yes. I frequently counsel clients to reduce and often eliminate estate taxes through various techniques, including but not limited to:
- Drafting Credit Shelter Trust Provisions; whereby spouses leave some of their property in trust for their children, but give the surviving spouse the ability to access some or all of it for the remainder of their life. This keeps the second spouse’s taxable estate half the size it would be if the property were left entirely to the spouse.
- Drafting “QTIP” Trust Provisions; whereby couples can postpone estate taxes until the second spouse dies. This allows for additional gifts qualifying for the annual exclusion.
- Drafting Charitable Remainder Annuity Trusts; whereby a tax free gift is made to a tax-exempt charity and the surviving spouse and/or children receive perpetual income from the transfer.
- Drafting Irrevocable Life Insurance Trusts; whereby the value of life insurance proceeds is removed from the client’s estate.