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Trusts

Secure your assets with a Trust

It used to be that trusts and most estate planning was reserved for only the wealthy - that's not the case anymore. It's highly advisable that regardless of how many assets you have that you consulate an Estate Planning attorney.

Living Trusts

What is it exactly? A living trust is a legal document created by you (the grantor) during your lifetime. Just like a will, a living trust spells out exactly what your desires are with regard to your assets, your dependents, and your heirs. The big difference is that a will becomes effective only after you die and your will has been entered into probate.

What’re the benefits? A living trust bypasses the costly and time-consuming process of probate, enabling your successor trustee (who fills basically the same role as an executor of a will) to carry out your instructions as documented in your living trust at your death, and also if you’re unable to manage your financial, healthcare, and legal affairs due to incapacity.

Without a living trust (sometimes referred to as a Revocable Trust) you're risking a significant loss of your estate through taxes, court fees, and attorney fees.

Irrevocable Trusts

A trust that can't be modified or terminated without the permission of the beneficiary. The grantor, having transferred assets into the trust, effectively removes all of his or her rights of ownership to the assets and the trust. This is the opposite of a "revocable trust," which allows the grantor to modify the trust.

The main reason for setting up an irrevocable trust is for estate and tax considerations. The benefit of this type of trust for estate assets is that it removes all incidents of ownership, effectively removing the trust's assets from the grantor's taxable estate. The grantor is also relieved of the tax liability on the income generated by the assets. While the tax rules will vary between jurisdictions, in most cases, the grantor can't receive these benefits if he or she is the trustee of the trust.

The assets held in the trust can include, but are not limited to, a business, investment assets, cash and life insurance policies.

Special Needs Trust

The primary purpose of a special needs trust (SNT) will be to maintain public benefits for disabled beneficiaries. Since most public benefits, including Social Security and Medicare are sensitive to available assets, this form of trust will preserve such benefits for the disabled individual.

One common case that we have worked with concerns family members (usually parents) seeking to establish a trust for their children, some of which who are disabled and receiving public benefits. With a special needs trust you can maintain all your estate planning wishes while also making sure your disabled child is cared for. These are typically referred to as "third-part SNTs"

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