ARTICLE: SYMPOSIUM: THE WINDS OF CHANGE IN WILLS, TRUSTS, AND ESTATE PLANNING LAW: Dying with the "Living" (or "Revocable") Trust: Federal Tax Consequences of Testamentary Dispositions Compared Skip over navigation
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Copyright (c) 1984 Vanderbilt Law Review, Vanderbilt University Law School
Vanderbilt Law Review

ARTICLE: SYMPOSIUM: THE WINDS OF CHANGE IN WILLS, TRUSTS, AND ESTATE PLANNING LAW: Dying with the "Living" (or "Revocable") Trust: Federal Tax Consequences of Testamentary Dispositions Compared

May, 1984

Vanderbilt Law Review

37 Vand. L. Rev. 811

Author

C. Douglas Miller * and R. Alan Rainey **

Excerpt

I. INTRODUCTION

Technically, a "living" trust is any trust created during the lifetime of the person, known as the "grantor," who creates it. Similarly, a "revocable" trust is any trust over which someone has direct or indirect power to revoke the declaration of or transfer in trust. In this Article, however, the term "living" or "revocable" trust refers to its popular meaning 1 as a trust that the sole grantor funds 2 with his separate property 3 and that is expressly amendable and revocable by that grantor acting alone. Furthermore, the trust assets are payable to the grantor upon revocation, the trust income is payable to the grantor for life, and the trust becomes irrevocable upon the grantor's death, at which time its provisions for the eventual distribution of trust property to designated beneficiaries become effective.

The revocable trust has become an important estate planning device, and one that practitioners increasingly regard as a viable alternative to the will as the principal dispositive instrument in the estate plan. 4 Indeed, practitioners perceive the revocable trust as an alternative that has significant lifetime 5 and postdeath advantages. 6 The perceived advantages of the revocable trust, coupled with the further perception that its use has no important federal tax consequences when compared to the alternative of a testamentary disposition, 7 contribute to its popularity and frequency of use.

The purpose of this Article is to examine the federal tax consequences of the revocable trust to the grantor ...
 
 
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