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Riezman Berger, P.C. Explains New Qualified Spousal Trust Legislation

On May 13, 2011, the Missouri legislature passed a new statute creating a new type of trust, a “qualified spousal trust.” This statute is a direct result of the efforts of the Trusts & Estates and the Governmental Affairs departments at the law firm of Riezman Berger, PC. The statute creates a legislative safe harbor for a joint trust which provides asset protection to husbands and wives, while also permitting them to take advantage of tax planning that defers or avoids the Estate Tax burden on their estates. After signature by the Governor, the statute will go into effect on August 28, 2011.

“We believe this statute offers significant benefits to Missouri residents who are married. The new qualified spousal trust is a “must consider” strategy in estate planning for married couples” said Mark J. Temkin, a managing shareholder at Riezman Berger, P.C. and the original proponent of the statute.

The concept codified by the new statute was developed many years ago by Riezman Berger, P.C. and subsequently other lawyers used various versions of the joint trust. The new statute gives a husband and wife the ability to protect their assets from the claims of creditors of only one spouse, while simultaneously eliminating some of the tax risks involved with prior joint trust planning. “We now have a great opportunity to get the best of all worlds, both increased asset protection and better Estate Tax planning,” added Bob Oesch, the chair of the Trusts and Estates Department, who was also involved in the legislative solution.

Riezman Berger, P.C. is proud of its success in navigating the legislative process so that its clients can benefit from this significant improvement in Missouri law. Its estate planning attorneys are prepared to provide further information on this statute and its suitability for a particular situation.

Riezman Berger, P.C. is a full service law firm located in Clayton, Missouri, and has practices in both the Trusts & Estates and the Governmental Affairs fields. Information regarding the firm can be found at www.riezmanberger.com.

We are committed to the success of our clients.