According to Dana Shilling, if a trust is too complex, too expensive or creates tax problems, there are some alternatives to helping your client make the most of them:
? To get assets out of the estate, make outright gifts during life. Remember, this does mean your client will lose these assets, as well as income from them and gains from their potential appreciation.
? A giving program (regular gifts of up to the annual exclusion each year) can reduce a potentially taxable estate.
? To provide ongoing income for a surviving spouse, beef up the life insurance portfolio so funds can be paid under a settlement option.