Chris C. Chin & Associates

Attorneys at Law

139 Centre Street, Suite 806 & 808, New York, New York 10013
Office: (212) 952-1888 Fax: (212) 925-9332

Dear Friends,

I hope that you and your family are doing well, staying healthy and safe as we all climb out of this nightmare. With vaccines now becoming more available, we have had time to reflect on events during the past year.

The year 2020, especially the latter half, was a very busy time for us, as our offices were flooded by calls from clients, both new and existing, who were suddenly reminded of their own mortality by the Pandemic. Faced with the real possibility of serious illness or possible death, clients began to rush to complete their estate planning documents, driven by the fear of dying without a Will or trust.

In addition, as the year progressed, we began to receive calls from clients who had already suspected that Trump, and the Republicans, might possibly lose the election, and wanted to take full advantage of the federal estate tax exclusion, which would surely diminish or even disappear in a Democrat-controlled government.

During our consult sessions, we were surprised to find that even those who had already set up their trusts, both revocable and irrevocable, done little more than sign the initial trust documents, without ever transferring any of their personal assets into the trusts. Worse yet, some of those who had transferred assets into their irrevocable trusts, neglected to file the requisite gift tax returns.

Setting up a revocable (living) trust and leaving it empty makes no sense, as one of the primary reasons for funding this trust is that only the assets within the trust at the person’s death avoid the probate process. With an irrevocable trust, leaving it empty makes even less sense because the main advantage of transferring assets out of one’s estate is never utilized. Finally, the failure to file a proper gift tax return when transferring assets into an irrevocable trust means wasting any tax advantage that comes from such a transfer.

If you believe or suspect that your current estate planning situation fits the above, we invite you to reach out to us to possibly set up a consult session, and to discuss any steps that may be necessary. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

Sincerely yours,

Chris C. Chin, J.D., Ph.D.
Law Offices of Chris C. Chin & Associates