Preparing Trusts is a large part of our practice. Trusts are extremely flexible tools that can accomplish many things basic Wills cannot. For many clients, a basic Will achieves all of their objectives. Often though, clients’ desires can only be achieved by setting up Trusts. Trusts allow more control over their assets after death, and can minimize taxes owed by the beneficiaries in some cases. Revocable Living Trusts, Special Needs Trusts, Supplemental Needs Trusts and Irrevocable Life Insurance Trusts can be created and funded during a person’s lifetime. Testamentary Trusts are created in a person’s Will and are only funded after death.
Listed below are some of the potential benefits of creating Trusts:
- minimize estate taxes through use of credit shelter Trusts;
- pass on property over time instead of all at once;
- pass on property for a specific purpose, such as education;
- pass on property to help a person receiving disability benefits without jeopardizing those benefits; and
- Pass on property to benefit a financially irresponsible person in a manner that ensures funds are used wisely and are not subject to attack by that person’s creditors.
Revocable Living Trusts Can:
- eliminate the costs and delays associated with probate;
- achieve a degree of privacy unattainable with probate; and
- eliminate the need for conservatorship in the event the person who creates the Trust becomes incapacitated.
Special Needs Trusts Can:
- allow a disabled person receiving public benefits to acquire assets in a way that will not jeopardize public benefits (the disabled person makes contributions to the Trust, which is managed by someone else for his or her benefit).
Supplemental Needs Trusts Can:
- allow others to contribute assets for a disabled person receiving public benefits in a way that will not jeopardize public benefits (people other than the disabled person contribute to and manage the Trust).
Irrevocable Life Insurance Trusts Can:
- greatly reduce estate taxes for large estates which already include life insurance,
provide cash to pay estate tax, and keep other assets in the family rather than being liquidated to pay the tax.
We can help you decide whether a Trust may be right for you. If you create a Trust, we’ll help you choose terms that make sense for you and your family.