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Formula General Powers of Appointment to the Rescue

They can use the surviving spouse’s otherwise unused estate tax exclusion and cause credit shelter trust assets to receive stepped-up basis.

The current stratospheric $11.4 million federal estate tax exclusion ensures that most clients are no longer subject to estate taxes. Many credit shelter trusts (CSTs) and irrevocable trusts are inefficient because they don’t save estate taxes, yet will deprive the family of stepped-up basis treatment at the beneficiary’s death.


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