Estate Planning With Marital Trusts Post-ATRA: Optimizing Basis Step-Up and Leveraging AB and QTIP Trusts

Recording of a 90-minute CLE/CPE webinar with Q&A

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Conducted on Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Recorded event now available

or call 1-800-926-7926

This CLE/CPE course will provide estate planning counsel with strategies for using marital trusts to maximize tax benefits, as well as to control and protect assets. The panel will discuss the use of AB trusts post-ATRA and explain how to structure trusts to maximize estate and income tax benefits and optimize step-up basis opportunities.


AB trusts have traditionally been effective estate planning techniques for married couples seeking to maximize the federal estate tax exemption. However, the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 and permanent portability rules significantly change the pitfalls of AB trusts, as well as the opportunities, requiring estate planners to reevaluate their use depending on a client’s circumstances.

AB and QTIP trusts remain useful tools for high net-worth couples in which spouses have children from previous marriages because they can ensure that the children from the previous marriage will receive the deceased spouse’s assets while allowing the surviving spouse to have access and use of assets during their lifetime.

In other situations, an AB trust may deprive beneficiaries of a step-up in basis on property held by the trust and result in unintended capital gains and other taxes upon the sale of the property. Estate planners must consider the income tax and estate tax implications when advising clients on the best marital trust options to accomplish their goals.

Listen as our experienced panel of estate planning counsel discusses the use of AB trusts in a post-ATRA environment. The panel will explain how to evaluate whether an AB trust is still a prudent option for a client and how to structure trusts to maximize estate and income tax benefits and optimize step-up basis opportunities.



  1. ATRA, portability and AB trusts
  2. Types of marital deduction trusts
  3. Step-up basis and capital gain
  4. Formula general powers
  5. Delaware tax trap
  6. Pre-mortem - Evaluating and updating revocable estate plans
  7. Post-mortem - Evaluating and updating irrevocable AB trusts
  8. Roundtable, Q&A


The panel will review these and other key issues:

  • What trust structure is best for avoiding or reducing capital gains taxes?
  • What are the benefits of QTIP trusts when there are children from previous marriages?
  • How can counsel cure outdated plans containing AB trusts?


Mitchell R. Miller
Mitchell R. Miller


Mr. Miller has been a tax lawyer for over 35 years and is a California State Bar Certified Specialist in Taxation and a...  |  Read More

Edwin P. Morrow, III, Esq.
Edwin P. Morrow, III, Esq.
Director, Wealth Transfer Planning and Tax Strategies
Key Private Bank Family Wealth Advisory Services

Mr. Morrow advises high net worth private banking clients on tax, trust and estate planning matters. He previously...  |  Read More

Schlesier, Edward
Edward P. Schlesier

Board Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law
Blanchard Krasner & French

Mr. Schlesier has a broad legal and business background. His areas of practice include taxation, estate...  |  Read More

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