A court commissioner approved a bid by the widow of an Oscar-winning makeup artist to modify part of her living trust in order to limit the tax exposure for her children after her death.
Los Angeles Superior Court Commissioner Brenda Penny ruled in favor of Karen Louise Winston on Friday, granting a petition she filed in May. The petitioner’s late husband, Stan Winston, was a television and film special makeup effects creator who worked in the “Terminator” series, the first three “Jurassic Park” films, “Aliens,” the first two “Predator” films, “Iron Man” and “Edward Scissorhands.” He won four Academy Awards for his achievements.
The petitioner’s husband died in June 2008 in Malibu at age 62 after suffering for seven years from multiple myeloma.
The couple had two children, Matt Winston and Deborah Winston. Matt is an actor best known for television roles on the HBO dramas “Six Feet Under” and “John from Cincinnati.”
The Winstons created their living trust in March 1992 and amended it 10 years later. After the makeup artist’s death, the trust was divided into three sub-trusts called the survivor’s trust, the marital trust and the exemption trust, the latter of which is the subject of the widow’s petition. She seeks to amend the exemption trust to give her grant power so that assets will receive an income tax-basis adjustment to fair market value at the time of her death.
“This proposed modification could result in significant income tax savings for Deborah and Matt should appreciated assets in the exemption trust be sold after Karen’s death,” the petition stated.
Without the change, the Winston children would likely face significant capital gains taxes if they sold the trust assets after their mother dies, the petition stated.