Tag: trusts

What are the Different Types of Trusts to Use in Estate Planning?

Trusts are an estate planning tool created for the management of assets, both during your life and after your death. Are there different types of trusts to use in estate planning? Yes, there are several types. They can, however, be divided into a couple of categories, which may make them much easier to understand. 

First of all, trusts can be either living or testamentary. Living trusts, also known as inter vivos trusts, are created while the trustor is still living. There are also testamentary trusts, which are created by a trustor after his or her death. 

Secondly, trusts are either revocable or irrevocable. In simplest terms, this speaks to whether or not they can be changed or revoked after they are created. There can be important legal implications of choosing between revocable or irrevocable. 

A revocable trust is created by a trustor, who also remains as the beneficiary until his or her passing, and then passes onto the successor trustee and beneficiaries. The easiest way to envision a revocable trust may be one created by a married couple, who remain as both co-trustors and co-beneficiaries until their passing and then, an adult child becomes the successor trustee and their other children, and possibly grandchildren, become the successor beneficiaries. A revocable trust can be revoked or changed at any time prior to the original trustor’s death. Accordingly, there are no tax benefits. Essentially, the revocable trust can function as a means of distributing assets to beneficiaries while avoiding the timely and costly probate process. 

As the name implies, once an irrevocable trust is created it cannot be changed, except under rather limited circumstances. Once the assets are transferred to the trust, they are no longer considered to be the property of the trustor, but rather, are the property of the trust. The benefits include limiting or eliminating both income and estate tax and usually the trust property cannot be reached by the trustor’s creditors. Another key draw of the irrevocable trust may be because the assets of the trust are no longer the property of the trustor, they are not considered, when determining the trustor’s eligibility for government programs, such as Medicaid, which can make them an integral tool in long-term care planning. Along the same lines, a special needs trust, which is most typically created to provide for an adult disabled child following the passing of their parents is most usually irrevocable, assuring the disabled child remains eligible for government programs. 

Now that you have an understanding of the fundamentals of trusts, it is a great time to meet with an estate planning attorney to discuss how best to meet your estate planning goals. Do you have questions? Please contact our law practice to learn more. We are here for you. Elder and Estate Planning Attorneys PA is a law office small enough to provide personal service but large enough to provide service in Palm Beach, Martin, St. Lucie and Indian River Counties.

How a family gifting trust can help shelter wealth and avoid taxes

There’s an old saying it’s better to give than receive, but did you know there’s a way to continue giving to your family even after you’re gone? A family gifting trust gives you the ability to shelter wealth over multiple generations while providing tax avoidance. The trust protects your assets from the ever changing estate and gift tax laws.

It also protects your wealth from risk created by your divorce, actions taken against your will by in-laws, an heirs divorce, or a deceased heir’s spouse who elects to take action against the heir’s will says Anne’ Desormier-Cartwright.

The family gifting trust takes advantage of annual gifting tax laws to distribute your wealth among many family members during your lifetime. After your death, the trust distributes wealth on a preferential basis to beneficiary groups. Elder and Estate planning attorneys PA is a law office small enough to provide personal service but large enough to handle all of your estate and planning needs.

How a Charitable Lead Trust may help in building your estate plan.

When planning your estate plan and deciding how best to protect your wealth from taxes you should consider the Charitable Lead Trust

The trust is useful for philanthropic endeavors, where charitable gifts are periodically given. Generally, a gift occurs upon creation of the trust and a significant income tax deduction is available in the year the trust is created, with the unused portion carried forward for five years in some cases.

“The Charitable Lead Trust also enhances your ability to transfer wealth to your children and grandchildren without incurring a gift or estate tax.” says Anne Desormier-Cartwright, of Elder and Estate Planning Attorneys, PA.

Control of the principal investment assets may be retained, and the trust may be created before or at death.

Elder and Estate Planning Attorneys PA is a law office small enough to provide personal service but large enough to handle all of your estate and planning needs.

Special Needs Trusts

Individuals with special needs often face much greater challenges compared to those without special needs. Quality of life can be compromised and added expenses may come into play. These individuals frequently rely on public benefits to help them to meet these costs. But the benefits often fail to meet all the needs of the disabled person. A special needs trust can help bridge the gap between public benefits and what the person really needs. The trust is specifically identified to meet certain supplemental needs and the enhance the quality of life for the beneficiary. The special needs person. Most importantly, the special needs trust is created so as not to disqualify the beneficiary for public benefits being received. Says Anne Desormier-Cartwright, of Elder and Estate Planning Attorneys, PA. A special needs attorney is essential for determining the right type of trust and how to construct it so a special needs person gets every benefit they’re entitled to. Elder and Estate Planning Attorneys PA is a law office small enough to provide personal service but large enough to handle all of your estate and planning needs.