In the past, the most popular way to take advantage of the federal exemption for both spouses was to set up and fund a revocable A-B Trust. For larger estates, the maximum federal exemption amount would go into a B Trust (“B” for below ground); the balance of deceased’s estate would go into the A Trust, usually for the exclusive benefit of the surviving trust.
Mortgage REITs primarily buy commercial and residential mortgage-backed securities. Many of the 33 mortgage REITs focus on mortgage securities that are government guaranteed by Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae.
An adult child may want to consider funding an upward trust for a parent who needs income. The parent lives off the income and may or may not have access to trust principal, depending upon trust document wording. Ideally, when the parent dies, the ultimate trust beneficiary is the adult child’s loved ones. If assets in the upward trust eventually revert to the grantor (adult child), such assets could subject the grantor’s estate to taxes—assuming the $5.25 million limit (2013) is surpassed.