My husband died.  I apparently have a trust where I now don’t own my husband’s property and I have to pay to file separate tax returns each year for his share.  Can I avoid this?


It was very common for attorneys to prepare trusts where the deceased spouse’s half of the community property was placed in a separate trust at his or her death, incapable of being changed by the surviving spouse.  Typically, the reason for this was to maximize the amount that could be passed tax free on the surviving spouse’s death.  However, because of recent changes in the law, unless you have more than $5,250,000, this approach may be expensive and burdensome for the surviving spouse.  Before the spouse’s death this can be easily changed.  After death, it can possibly be changed but it is not certain and it much more difficult to accomplish.  Contact an attorney knowledgeable in this field to understand your options.