Marital & Community Property FAQs

Community property trusts offer married couples a way to potentially save money by decreasing or completely removing capital gains tax following the passing of the first spouse. This can simplify the process for the surviving spouse to sell any inherited assets without losing a substantial amount of the proceeds to taxes. By leveraging the tax advantages of community property, this trust structure has the potential to result in significant savings for the appropriate individual.

The simple answer is “no.” When it comes to estate planning, legal, and tax strategies, it is important to carefully weigh the pros and cons as there is no one-size-fits-all approach. However, community property trusts can be a beneficial option for married couples with assets they are willing to retain until one spouse passes away.

Alaska, Florida, Kentucky, South Dakota, and Tennessee allow nonresidents to establish community property trusts, which provide tax advantages similar to those available to residents of community property states. To take advantage of these benefits, a married couple must create a community property trust that conforms to the laws of the relevant state. Proper funding and management of the trust are essential to maintain its tax advantages. Given the complexity of these trusts and the risk of losing tax benefits due to noncompliance, it is advisable to seek professional guidance to determine if a community property trust is suitable for your family.

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