Legal Topic Library
What is an irrevocable trust?
What is estate planning?
Estate planning addresses the consistent and hardest parts of life, which is when someone passes away. In my opinion, estate planning’s purpose is to help a family’s transition as they cope during such a difficult period in their lives. It is a gratifying and purpose-filled legal service.
Comprehensive estate planning takes the whole person into account. It involves selecting trusted individuals to carry out one’s wishes and drafting documents that carefully guide and protect future generations. Estate planning also goes beyond taxes, wealth, and medical decision making: Many people choose to include things like recorded oral histories and precious heirlooms in their plans. This makes estate planning not just about property, but about the legacy, values, and vision you want to pass along to future generations.
Do I need to do estate planning?
What is a trust?
What is a Trustee?
A Trustee also has duties to the trust’s beneficiaries, called fiduciary duties. This means that a Trustee could be found legally liable if the Trustee inadequately administers a trust. I would suggest that a Trustee contact an attorney specializing in Trust Administration for help.
I thought trusts only dealt with property. How can a trust be used to pass along my values?
Who should I pick as trustee?
What does a successor trustee do?
A successor trustee can also be either an individual or an institution. This party serves as a back-up, or successor, to the original trustee in case the first trustee passes away or is incapable or unwilling to perform their duties regarding the management of your trust.
Should I pick a corporate trustee?
What are the advantages of a trust?
A trust allows you to have provisions that govern how and when your property is distributed to your descendants. This allows for a continuation of parenting influence and can help descendants continue to reach their potential as they continue through life.
What are the disadvantages of a trust?
A trust is also more “high maintenance than a will.” For a trust to work best, you have to actively manage ownership of your property for the trust to continually control your property. This process is called “funding.” It is best to counsel with an estate planning attorney to determine the best options to fund your trust.
Why would I want to give my children their inheritances through a trust?
Is a will or trust better for me and my family?
Why does an 18-year old need an estate plan?
What is a Standalone Retirement Trust (SRT)?
A Standalone Retirement Trust (SRT) is a special type of trust. A standalone retirement trust, (SRT) for short, is a trust used to provide asset protection and maximized tax deferred growth for spouses, children, and other loved ones. This means more assets go to the people you care about.
The SRT is popular and can benefit you and your loved ones because it:
- Protects inherited retirement accounts from beneficiaries’ creditors as well as predators and lawsuits
- Ensures retirement accounts go to whom you designate – and nobody else
- Allows for experienced management and oversight of assets by a professional trustee
- Prevents beneficiaries from reckless spending or gambling
- Enables proper planning for a special needs beneficiary
- Permits you to name minor beneficiaries as immediate beneficiaries without court-supervised guardianship
- Facilitates generation-skipping transfer tax planning
How can I modify a trust?
There are three ways in which you can modify a trust:
1) Amendment: These are smaller changes, such as changing the name of a beneficiary, that is inserted into the trust binder and explains what has been deleted and added.
2) Restatement: This is when your desired changes are large enough that it is easier to simply re-print the entire document. Your estate planning attorney should state within your trust the dates of previous restatements.
3) Re-drafting: This is not trust modification per se. You are revoking any prior trust and beginning again. While there are situations in which this may be a desirable action, this does require you to fund your property into this trust, whereas the other modification options do not.
I invite you to meet with me to discuss which option is best for you in your circumstances.
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