05/28/2013 12:54 pm ET

Estate Plan Funding For Spouses


Earlier in my career, I saw estate plans consisting of a set of documents drawn and signed, and that was it. There was no attention at all to dealing with the clients’ assets. The clients’ assets remained titled in the spouses’ names. Upon the death of the first spouse to die, generally the surviving spouse succeeded to outright ownership of the marital property via tenancy by the entirety. If the deceased spouse owned property in his or her own name, his or her will bequeathed it to his or her trust, but such post-death funding of a trust requires a probate proceeding.

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