Trusts are complex, powerful and versatile private planning tools that direct how a person’s assets are used after his or her death.
By creating a trust and appointing a trustee (or trustees) to manage it, you can contribute to a protected repository of funds that can be used to benefit a surviving spouse or child, a disabled or incapacitated loved one, or a charitable organization, to name a few options.
Unlike wills, which call for a one-time distribution of assets, trusts are designed to protect and control assets over years or even decades. They are also protected from certain taxes and legal vulnerability in lawsuits. They can also greatly simplify the probate process by taking trust assets out of the estate equation.
We assist clients in protecting establishing and maintaining a wide variety of trusts designed to protect their assets, limit estate taxes and ensure their financial legacies.
Special Purpose Trusts | Estate Tax Planning Lawyers
Although the complexity of trusts can be daunting, it is this complexity that makes them such effective asset preservation tools. Think of a financial need you can anticipate today – such as a need for money to pay for nursing home care or to protect certain assets from being taxed with your estate when you die – and there is a specific trust that can address that need.
For instance, a special needs trust can be used to safeguard your property and income as you grow older, while enabling you to remain eligible for Social Security Income and Medicaid benefits. Whether set up privately or by a court order, a special needs trust requires that someone other than you serve as the trustee and manage the property. However, the benefit is that the trust can be used to pay for your recreation, education and other supplemental needs, while you remain eligible to receive government assistance for medical care, housing, food and other basic needs.
Another popular trust, the revocable living trust, enables people to establish ground rules for how their assets will be handled after their deaths. Unlike wills, which can determine which assets (and how much) go to whom, revocable living trusts can set conditions on how those assets are used. A common example is the “spendthrift” trust, which can place conditions on how an inheritance is used. In essence, the trust “lives on” after the grantor’s death because it continues to enforce his/her intentions.
Other types of trusts we assist clients with include Qualified Terminable Interest Property (QTIP) trusts, charitable remainder trusts, charitable lead trusts and irrevocable life insurance trusts. Each has different purposes and operates differently. Meet with us, and we will be happy to discuss your personal and financial goals in detail, and determine the trust options that will most benefit you.
Just as people need to provide for their physical and financial needs during the productive years of their lives, they need to plan for the days when they are no longer able to live independently or make decisions on their own.
We help our clients to create estate plans that are legally sound and stand the test of time.
Plan Ahead, Maintain Control Of Your Assets And Decisions | Wills And Trusts Attorney
Your goal may be to retain control of your medical care, to leave your children an inheritance or trust assets, or to establish a trust for the benefit of an elderly spouse or disabled child. You may also wish to minimize or eliminate estate taxes and avoid the probate process. Whatever your goals, our law firm can guide you through the process of creating sound planning documents, and defend you against legal challenges. We can also assist you in selecting representatives to administer your estate, make decisions about your health care or end-of-life care, and execute your will.
Our attorneys can help you to plan for any estate-related contingency, concerning: