We recently posted about situations that may make it important to revise your estate plan, and about how reviewing your estate plan is an important part of ensuring it is accurate and secure. One component of an estate plan that continues to grow in popularity and functionality is a trust. However, what happens when a trust no longer serves the purpose for which it was established? Life events and other factors can significantly impact how effective your trust will be, and it is important to monitor your trust on a regular basis to ensure it still meets your needs – and to take steps to fix it if it doesn’t.
When might a trust break?
The law is always changing. Estate planning law is no exception. Some changes in laws that affect estate planning decisions can cause a trust to break. For instance, if a trust was created many years ago when the gift tax, estate tax, and generation-skipping transfer taxes had lower exemption values. Consequently, such trust may no longer be necessary to help you avoid certain tax burdens that they were designed to avoid. The changing exemptions and other factors surrounding these taxes can also make the prospect of paying taxes associated with the trust less appealing than taxes that would be due without the trust.