Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Article on SATs

James BlaseJames G. Blase (Blase & Associates, LLC, Missouri) recently published an article entitled, How to Transfer More Than $5 Million to an Irrevocable Spousal Access Trust, Estateplanning.com, WealthCounsel (Oct. 3, 2012). Provided below is the summary of the article:

Use of the DSAT technique should be considered by any married couple who is contemplating making a gift of more than $5 million (or at least more than either spouse’s remaining lifetime gift tax exemption) before 2013, but who is hesitant to do so without maintaining access to all or most of the gifted assets. As described above, the only significant potential disadvantage of the DSAT which cannot be easily solved (in addition to the fact that the couple may divorce or the transferee spouse may die prematurely) concerns the ability of the Crummey withdrawal power holders to withdraw significant trust funds, at least for a limited period of time. If the couple views this as a significant concern in their particular family, they should either not employ the DSAT device or, if the couple nevertheless still desires to utilize the DSAT, they should eliminate or limit Crummey withdrawal rights in the case of any particular child or grandchild where there is a significant concern.

Special thanks to Brian Cohan (Attorney at Law, Law Offices of Brian J. Cohan, P.C.) for bringing this article to my attention.


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The answer depends on your goals. Are you concerned about probate fees, taxes, long-term care, a disabled child, a farming operation, grandkids, charities or even supporting your surviving spouse? We ask these types of questions before determining whether Trust planning makes sense. Remember, not all Trusts are the same.

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