Estate planning Succession Trusts

The life estate and testamentary discretionary trust in modern wills

Source: The Tax Specialist Journal Article

Published Date: 1 Aug 2012


An important early step in structuring an estate plan is to decide who is to benefit from each of the assets and to what extent. Next, it is necessary to consider the form of ownership and control of the assets.

The introduction of the capital gains tax, and the uncertainty of the tax treatment of life estates under those provisions, together with changing attitudes to the methods of control and forms of ownership of assets, has led to a shift in estate planning away from the use of life interests or testamentary trusts with specific equitable life and reversionary interests. This article examines some of the issues to be considered by an estate planner when considering the use of life estates and whether life estates still have a role in the modern will.

The article then considers some general issues relating to testamentary trusts.

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Estate planning Succession Trusts 2012

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