What is a QTIP Trust?
As you embark on your estate planning journey, there are many different strategies to consider. One of them is the Qualified Terminable Interest Property (QTIP) Trust. A QTIP Trust provides limited access to trust assets for a surviving spouse. The spouse receives income from the trust, but cannot decide on who ultimately receives the remaining balance. It can be set up to allow the spouse to withdraw the greater of $5,000 or 5% of the trust assets, or not. No other principal withdrawls are allowed by the spouse.
So why set up a QTIP Trust?
You can limit the ownership of your assets by a spouse, yet still provide for your spouse during their lifetime. This type of trust may be used in a second marriage to ensure that the assets are ultimately distributed to children of a former marriage.
If estate taxes are a concern, your personal representative can claim a deduction for amounts transferred to the trust.
If you have a spouse that is or may receive Medicaid long term care, you would not want to leave assets to him or her at your death. However, in South Carolina, you can not "cut out" your spouse and failure by your spouse to claim an elective share may result in Medicaid disqualification. A QTIP trust can be used to leave your spouse only a stream of income from the trust, thus eliminating a transfer of assets to them at your death.