Estate Planning has its own vocabulary. To help you speak the language, we've created a glossary of the more commonly used words and phrases. This glossary is comprised of 26 individual pages, one for each letter of the alphabet. To find a particular word or phrase that starts with the letter "M" - simply scroll down the list below. If your word or phrase starts with another letter, please use the alphabet index below.
A "marital trust" (sometimes called a "marital deduction trust") is a trust established solely for the benefit of a surviving spouse. A marital trust is generally established in such a way that it qualifies for the unlimited marital deduction for estate tax purposes. A marital trust is often referred to as the "A" trust in an "A-B" trust arrangement whereby the "B" trust is the family trust or credit-shelter trust. A marital trust may be created as part of a last will and testament or as part of a revocable living trust. See "family trust" and "credit-shelter trust."