Estate planning attorneys assist their clients by recommending the most appropriate ways to achieve wealth transfer goals. A key approach in our planning arsenal is the use of trusts. Although we often think of trusts as a method to minimize transfer taxes, the use of trusts predates our modern estate tax system, such as it is, or will be or may be, given the uncertainty of recent Congressional inaction. Regardless of what happens to the estate tax, trusts provide a powerful and flexible way to address a myriad of nontax concerns. Given the unsettled state of affairs, planners must be especially sensitive to the variety of nontax related situations in which the use of trusts can provide real value to our clients.

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