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Attorney Randy Ratliff

Qualified Terminable Interest Property Trusts

Nashville Lawyer Advising Residents With Estate Planning Needs

A thorough and well-considered estate plan should be based upon many factors, including an individual’s age and health, personal and business relationships, and wealth. At a minimum, most individuals should have in place a last will and testament, a living will, and a durable power of attorney for health care, but those with larger estates or in more complicated family situations may need additional tools, such as a trust. For some, this may include a qualified terminable interest property trust. At the Randy Ratliff Law Offices, PLLC, our Nashville estate planning attorney provides a full range of services for local residents seeking to provide for their loved ones after they are gone.

Using Trusts During and After the Grantor’s Lifetime

While living wills and health care proxies determine matters such as the extent to which extraordinary efforts should be made to extend a person’s life and who may make basic medical decisions for him or her in the event of mental incapacity, wills and trusts establish how a person’s assets (such as a home, business, or investments) will be administered. By its nature, a “last will and testament” does not take effect until after the death of the testator (the person writing the will). Wills can usually be changed, at the testator’s whim, so long as he or she is mentally competent to make legal decisions (an exception exists in the case of mutual wills, a situation in which a couple contractually agrees not to alter their wills in the future except by consent). Trusts, on the other hand, may become effective during the grantor’s lifetime (inter vivos trusts) or after the grantor’s death, and they may or may not be revocable, depending upon the particular type of trust at issue.

Understanding QTIPS – And Whether Such a Trust is Right for You

A qualified terminable interest property trust (sometimes referred to as a “QTIP,” for short) is a legal vehicle used primarily to provide for the needs of a surviving spouse, particularly in the situation of a second marriage, while directing that any assets remaining in the trust at the beneficiary’s death pass to a third party (often, a child or children from the grantor’s first marriage). In some situations, a QTIP can also be useful in reducing death or gift taxes.

The particular tax implications of a qualified terminable interest property trust can vary from estate to estate and should be discussed with a qualified professional. In the case of a non-citizen spouse, there may be additional rules, laws, or circumstances that need to be considered. As always, it is important to approach the task of planning one’s estate with full candor and consult an experienced lawyer in the process.

Estate Planning Attorney Serving the Nashville Area

Estate planning is one of those tasks that, while uncomfortable for some in the short term, can reap many benefits in the future - for both the individual who is considering his or her own needs (such as having a trusted loved one who will be standing by to make health care decisions, should he or she be unable to do so later on) and for those who will be left behind upon the grantor’s passing. At the Randy Ratliff Law Offices, PLLC, in Nashville, we understand both the difficulty of discussing sensitive matters and the importance of working through that difficulty with a knowledgeable lawyer to arrive at a fiscally efficient, responsible estate plan that will serve the needs of all those involved. Our office proudly serves clients throughout both Davidson and Williamson Counties, including in those in Antioch, Hermitage, Madison, Goodlettsville, Joelton, Franklin, Brentwood, and Cool Springs. For an appointment, call us a 615-656-8282. Rest assured that everything we discuss will be held in the strictest of confidence.