I was given a plan to review for a potential client who is a physician with significant wealth. The plan was drafted about two months ago and the initial concern from the financial advisor was that funding was not discussed with the client. So I began reviewing the plan and noticed that the attorney who drafted it did no tax planning at all. The plan gave everything to the surviving spouse in a trust that qualified for the marital deduction.

Although the plan works great for this year, as of January 1, 2011, the estate tax returns. So unless both spouses passed away this year, the plan would cause more taxes to be owed upon the second of them to pass away than they would had they done some VERY simple tax planning.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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