Bypass, Marital, and Dynasty Trusts, Irrevocable Life Insurance Trusts

Our attorneys understand that every individual, couple or family entering into the estate planning process has nuances that may require advanced planning solutions. These strategies can be used individually, or in combination, to ensure accurate disposition of assets while limiting tax burdens.

A client wanting to protect his or her spouse may choose to establish a “bypass trust” or a “marital trust” (also known as a “QTIP”). On the other hand, parents wanting to protect their children and future generations may opt to form “generation-skipping” or “dynasty” trusts. These strategies, customized to each client’s particular circumstances and goals, protect assets against estate taxes that may be imposed upon future generations. They also preserve the inherited assets held in trust, not only from potential creditors, but also as separate property in the event that marital relationships run into difficulty. We also regularly assist clients in forming irrevocable life insurance trusts (ILITs), an option for sheltering life insurance proceeds from estate taxes and creditors.

Our planning techniques may include the formation of external entities such as family limited partnerships or limited liability companies, charitable trusts, grantor retained annuity trusts (GRATs), grantor retained income trusts (GRITs), qualified personal residence trusts (QPRTs) and other Grantor Trust options, all of which seek to incorporate lifetime wealth transfers into the estate plan.


The best things in life aren’t things. Such a simple statement, but it holds so much meaning and intent. We know there is value in our financial assets, but more importantly, there is even greater value in our family treasures like family history, morals, beliefs and heirlooms. These treasured assets are the ones that are most often overlooked in traditional estate planning.

Legacy Planning is a more holistic approach to estate planning. It is the creation of a definitive plan for managing your total wealth while you’re alive, distributing your estate how you choose after your death, and a clear plan to pass on your legacy. Your estate includes all assets of any value that you own. This includes non-financial assets as well as financial assets, including real property, business interests, investments, insurance proceeds, retirement accounts and personal property. Your legacy also includes important decisions that ensure your family’s core values, responsible behaviors and community involvement, are passed on to future generations. Keep in mind, your legacy also includes personal effects, such as family heirlooms, stories, and accumulated wisdom and life lessons of your family.