Trusts are estate planning tools that can be used to meet a wide variety of planning goals or objectives. Trusts are commonly established for tax planning purposes but can also be used for creditor protection, help manage specific assets, protect assets while the beneficiaries are young (Minor Trusts), or disabled (Disability or Henson Trusts).A trust can also be set up for a beneficiary who has money management issues (Spendthrift Trusts).
If the trust is established while the person is alive, it is called a Living Trust or Inter Vivos Trust. A trust that takes effect after death is called a Testamentary Trust and is typically created in a Will.
A common example of a Testamentary Trust is a trust created in the Will of a parent who has young children. The minor child’s share of the estate is left with a trustee who is appointed in the Will and who is directed to manage the child’s share until the child attains a specified age.
Living or Testamentary Trusts can be created for spouses (called a Spouse Trust) or for some or all family members (Family Trusts) or for specific assets such as insurance proceeds (Insurance Trusts).
Special trusts can also be created for individuals over age 65 as a power of attorney substitute, for privacy reasons, or to minimize probate tax on certain types of assets. These are called Alter Ego or Joint Partner Trusts.
Our estate lawyers will assess what trusts, if any, are suitable for your planning goals and objectives and will draft trusts that meet your needs.