A recent column of mine discussed revocable living trusts and how they may ensure control and privacy of your estate. If you’re not looking to control assets from the grave, and your objective is to simply avoid probate in order to make life easier for executors and beneficiaries, then there are alternatives to trust-based estate…

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Imagine it’s the year 2000, and Sam and Pam Smith have a combined estate valued at $1.35 million, with each owning $675,000 in assets individually. Knowing there’s an unlimited marital deduction (spouses can transfer an unlimited amount of assets to each other without incurring gift or estate taxes), Sam and Pam Smith’s estate plan consisted…

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