Testamentary trusts have taken a hit recently and have had their tax savings advantages restricted. This doesn’t mean they are going away though – it’s quite the contrary. Testamentary trusts are still a very effective way to maintain control of the money you will be leaving to your beneficiaries. Read on to learn more about what has changed for testamentary trusts and how they can still be useful when planning your estate.
As of the first of January 2016, testamentary trusts will be taxed at the highest marginal taxation rate, with two exceptions. A testamentary trust will qualify for graduated rates for the first 36 months after the date of passing and if the beneficiary of the trust qualifies for the disability tax credit.
Why you should still consider a trust
A trust is still a valuable estate planning tool. There are number of examples where they can be extremely useful:
Managing your children’s funds
If you are leaving a sizeable inheritance to a beneficiary that is a child, grandchild or other young relative, you may wish to control how these funds are received and used. If they happen to be a minor, the funds must be held in trust until they reach the age of majority. If they have a disability, you can still create a trust that benefits from graduated rates that will be able to help take care of them for their whole life.
Taking care of your spouse
If you believe that your spouse would be best served by having a financial expert manage their wealth, then you can use a trust and assign a professional to manage it. This is especially helpful when they are dealing with a disability or an illness.
Managing a second marriage
Speaking of spouses, you can provide your current spouse with a lifetime benefit that will benefit others down the road. If you want to support your wife from your current marriage, but have children from your first, you can set up the trust so the rest of the money will go to them once your current spouse passes on.
There are many ways that a testamentary trust can help you with your estate, even with the recent changes. If you are planning your estate, you should contact an estate planning advisor at The Beacon Group of Assante Financial Management Ltd. Our experts can help you make the best choices for your unique situation.