Qualified Domestic Trusts in Houston

What is a Qualified Domestic Trust

A qualified domestic trust is also known by the acronyms QDT or QDOT. You may have heard those terms but not had their meaning clearly explained. This type of trust, like any other trust, is a legal mechanism for accomplishing a financial goal. As you and your spouse look towards the future, you may be considering wills or trusts for yourself and your heirs. If one spouse survives the other and is not a U.S. citizen, this may present special problems in the creation of a trust.

Traditionally, if you transfer property to a spouse, it is not penalized by either a gift tax or estate tax. This comes about as the federal government gives a deduction for the transfers that are made. These deductions are equal to the full amount of the property that is transferred. If this weren't so, it would put the spouse who receives the property in an awkward financial situation. A surviving spouse would have to pay high taxes each time any sort of property was transferred. This could seriously endanger financial security. The deduction is allowed and is called an unlimited marital deduction. It is unlimited as the amount of property that is transferred from one spouse to another has no limit. This deduction is not, however, allowed to spouses that are non-U.S. citizens. This is where a qualified and experienced Houston estate planning attorney can be of service to you and your spouse.

How a Qualified Domestic Trust Can Help

Clausell Law Firm is here to serve you and we will personally handle your QDT needs. A qualified domestic trust was created so that property could pass to a non-U.S. citizen and the unlimited marital deduction would still apply. This marital deduction allows an unlimited amount of assets to be transferred to a spouse, resulting in no taxes having to be paid when the first spouse dies. Even if a QDT was not created before a spouse dies, it is still possible to create this type of trust and be able to use it to your advantage.

Ultimately, beneficiaries will eventually have to pay the tax when the surviving spouse is deceased. Clausell Law Firm can help with that situation as well, as part of complete estate planning. As with any trust, there are specific requirements that must be met in order for a qualified domestic trust to be valid.

Contact a Houston estate planning attorney if you would like professional assistance in the preparation of a qualified domestic trust.