Video: MS Legislation to Protect Land and Assets in Trusts

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COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) – The Mississippi legislature is one step closer to helping people better plan for the future. A trust bill could soon become law, allowing people to control their assets for hundreds of years to come.

It’s hard to think about life in the year 2375 but that’s exactly what law makers in Mississippi are doing with House Bill 891. The Bill will allow Mississippians to keep their property in a trust for the next three centuries.

“What we’re dealing with here, is trying to make it so that Mississippi is competitive and is able to do what other sister states are able to do so that business is not leaving this state,” says Columbus Attorney David Dunn, who has practiced estate planning for over 40 years.

House Bill 891 passed the Senate last week and if it passes the House again, Mississippians could control their property and assets in a trust for the next 360 years. Currently, Mississippi law allows a trust to last for two generations or 50 years.

“At least 30 other states have adopted laws that have modified that, maybe out to 360 years, maybe forever. Some states have even gone beyond that,” says Dunn.

The Senate amended the bill to say that real estate could remain in trust for only 110 years in Mississippi. Opponents of House Bill 891 worry that too much wealth would be controlled by just a few individuals. Trusts allow assets to be transferred from generation to generation without paying transfer or estate taxes. Dunn says House Bill 891 won’t prohibit an estate from being taxed, if that’s required by the federal government.

“It’s going to be taxed. The IRS is going to tax it. If it’s taxable it’s going to be taxed and there’s no law Mississippi could pass to avoid that,” says Dunn.

The Bill returns to the House this week for more negotiations or it’ll be accepted and signed by Governor Bryant.

Brenda Lathan with the Golden Triangle Development Link says she doesn’t believe House Bill 891 will hinder economic development in the future.

Categories: Local News, State News

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