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A basic guide to QTIP trusts in Maryland

On Behalf of | Oct 9, 2023 | Trusts |

The uncertainty of life will most certainly always trample over future plans. For instance, it’s almost impossible to know which spouse will outlive the other, if they will remarry or the type of relationship that your loved ones will have after you’re gone. To that list, add the ever-changing tax and other government laws that might affect you and your beneficiaries. But you can establish an estate plan in Maryland that promotes flexibility in handling and distributing your assets while maximizing the best tax advantages using a QTIP trust.

A QTIP trust in Maryland

A Qualified Terminable Interest Property Trust (QTIP) is a trust that allows the grantor to provide for their surviving spouse after their passing while retaining control over the distribution of assets and taxes through their chosen trustee. It works like an A/B trust where the A portion (marital) is fully accessible to the surviving spouse, and the B portion (bypass or credit shelter trust) is for the descendants.

The difference between these two types of trusts is that QTIP allows the grantor to determine how much their surviving spouse receives from the trust’s income and assets. It becomes irrevocable once the grantor dies, and so the surviving spouse can’t take certain actions, like withdrawing the entire trust’s principal or changing the beneficiaries.

The function of QTIP trust in Maryland

One major advantage of using a QTIP trust in Maryland is that it allows for unlimited marital deduction. This means that all assets transferred to the surviving spouse are not subject to estate taxes at the time of death.

A QTIP trust also provides flexibility for blended families. In situations where the surviving spouse remarries, the grantor can ensure that their assets are passed down to their chosen heirs rather than their spouse’s new family.

A QTIP Trust can be a powerful tool in your estate planning arsenal, providing an effective balance between caring for your surviving spouse and preserving the legacy you desire to bestow upon your descendants. But before creating one, it helps to ensure that it aligns with your specific interests and that you understand the legal implications and tax advantages in Maryland, which can vary with time.