Thursday, May 18, 2017
The spousal lifetime asset trust (SLAT) is an excellent means for married clients with moderate to ultra-high net worth to gain planning flexibility and tax benefits in an uncertain and tumultuous estate-planning environment. The use of a SLAT enables clients to avoid probate, reduce estate taxes, and reduce capital gains on death tax. SLATs may also function as life insurance trusts and can be utilized to manage and protect life insurance proceeds. This is important given the central role life insurance takes in the estate and financial planning processes. These are among only a few of the benefits associated with SLATs, but they do require teamwork for proper optimization.
Wealth advisors should be included in order to manage securities both inside and outside the trust. These advisors should also be on the lookout for appreciated property swaps that may be advantageous. Estate planners are useful in growing assets inside the SLAT that are outside the client’s estate, and accountants should look to the SLAT to help the client avoid state income tax. While tax reform is currently nebulous at best, SLATs can serve clients as a flexible planning tool with a unique ability to meet their multifaceted goals.
See Andrew T. Wolfe & Martin M. Shenkman, SLATs Provide Flexible Plans for Many Clients, Wealth Management, May 15, 2017.
Special thanks to Jim Hillhouse (Professional Legal Marketing (PLM, Inc.)) for bringing this article to my attention.