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Missouri Legislature Passes Comprehensive Trust Protector Statute

On their way out the door on May 18, 2012, the Missouri Legislature approved S.B. 628, which included a revision to R.S.Mo. 456.8-808 setting forth a first of its kind, comprehensive statute governing the powers, rights and duties of “trust protectors.” Unless derailed by the Governor, this statute would become law on August 28, 2012 and could set an example for other states grappling with the roles trust protectors play within the modern estate planning world.

So what is a “trust protector” anyway? Under the Missouri statute, a trust protector would be someone other than a settlor, trustee, or beneficiary who is given power over the trust by the trust instrument. Trust protectors are used in modern estate plans to provide flexibility in trust administration and can be given any powers set forth in the trust instrument necessary or appropriate to carry out the purposes and intentions of

GRAT Planning in a Down Market

GRAT Planning in a Down Market

September 30, 2011

Authored by: Justin Flach and Doug Stanley

As I walked into the office, I noticed that the market was already down 100 points today.  It’s been doing that a lot lately.  And then it goes back up a little.  And then back down.   While the market is busy doing gymnastics and we’re all concerned about our portfolios and retirement plans, the one thing that shouldn’t get lost in the haze of bad economic news is that now is a great time to do some estate planning.

Setting aside taxable gifts for the moment, let’s focus on a strategy that works best when assets have a built in potential to increase in value and interest rates are low: the grantor retained annuity trust, or a GRAT.

At its most basic level, a GRAT works like this: you give

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