Living Trust Worksheet

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A trust is a legal arrangement in which someone decides how their property will be divided in case of their death or when they become incapacitated. A Living Trust Worksheet can help you understand the difference between these two types of trusts. A Living Trust Worksheet is made up of financial information about your estate that is used to aid with the process of making your final beneficiary’s payment. A Living Trust Worksheet is completed once you have determined the final beneficiary(ies) of your estate and all of your personal information is known. Once you have your Living Trust Worksheet completed, you are ready to make any final tax-planning decisions regarding your estate planning.

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Your Living Trust Worksheet is more than just a work sheet listing the assets and liabilities with which you are assessed. In fact, it is more than a sheet with two columns: one column for the assets, one for the Liabilities. By making an initial assessment of your financial position and then recording changes as needed, your Living Trust Worksheet will serve as the basis for determining your ultimate irrevocable asset value, your tax-free income, and your final taxable income. Once your irrevocable trust has been determined, your financial status worksheet will also determine whether you should name your children as co-trustees of your Living Trust or as trustees of your revocable living trust. This worksheet will also identify the ultimate tax-free value of your revocable trust if it is a Roth.

There are two types of revocable trusts: irrevocable and revocable. Irrevocable trusts cannot be altered in any way and are always under 100 percent trust. Revocable trusts can be changed by revising Living Trust Worksheets. Under the law, there are five types of trust administrators, including: banks, public, private, cooperative, government, and nonprofit. Your tax return must provide information on the administrator assigned to you.

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Once the name of your trust is selected, the following must be provided: the names and addresses of all beneficiaries, the amount of income (both income and total assets) that the beneficiaries will receive, names and addresses of other people who must be named as representatives, and information regarding the transfer or distribution of funds. Some types of IRAs have provision for automatic distribution of income taxes when the account holder dies, but most IRAs require a decision from the trustee. For this reason, it is extremely important to make sure your Living Trust Worksheet is prepared properly. Also, you must consider whether your beneficiaries will need to obtain any additional tax refunds upon distribution of the estate’s assets.

Your estate planning attorney will prepare the final Living Trust Worksheet and should use the IRS tables to determine which tax bracket your trust will fall into based on your account balances and payouts. In general, the higher the nest, the lower the tax rate. A percentage of the account assets will be designated as interest, with the remainder either being applied to the estate or transferred to other trust funds. Be sure to take into account that the trustee will need to report any distributions made to other trusts.

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Upon the death of the original trustee, the power of attorney that was established to name the beneficiary is terminated. The new trustee, typically the spouse of the deceased, is then named the beneficiary. To avoid conflict with federal tax law, it is always best to select a person who is not a relative to the deceased. Another possible conflict with federal tax law occurs if the beneficiary receives a substantially higher inheritance than the deceased’s estate and/or testate to substantially less than the deceased’s estate. The new trustee must apply the appropriate tax adjustments and file any necessary paperwork with the appropriate state tax agency.

It should be noted that the Living Trust Worksheet is for informational purposes only. It should not be used as a tax planning or estate planning tool. For these purposes it is assumed that no tax liability will arise from the use of the Living Trust. Therefore, the choice of the name is not a tax issue. Living Trusts do not have any federal tax implications and are not subject to the estate tax under most states’ statutes. However, you should be aware that if a beneficiary does not survive the test of the intestate, the remaining balance of the trust may be subject to gift and estate tax.

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A Living Trust Worksheet can help provide a basis for establishing a revocable living trust. Trustees can be anyone, but it needs to be someone the decedent had already selected as the “trustee in general.” If you are uncertain as to whether you should use a trust, consult your estate planning attorney. He or she will be able to give you sound legal advice and guide you through the process. You are urged to seek the help of an attorney before proceeding.

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