When it comes time to start thinking about your long-term financial well being, there are a lot of tools available to help ensure that your assets will be handled in a way that best meets your goals and wishes. Trusts can be one of the most important of these tools. A trust is particularly valuable tool for minimizing the taxes that will be assessed against your estate after your death. When your estate planning includes the use of a trust, either you or a third party – can be named as a trustee, to maintain your assets on behalf of the person who you wish to benefit from them. This generally avoids probate and means that your beneficiaries can gain access to your assets more quickly than is accomplished by assigning them within a will, and depending upon the type of trust that is used, it may avoid the assets being taxable to your estate. As you begin to think about the future, understanding estate planning with trusts is essential. An experienced estate plan lawyer from Bratton Scott can help.
There are a number of benefits to estate planning with trusts. It provides you with the ability to create specific terms regarding how, when, and to whom distributions of your assets can be made. You may wish to have your funds remain accessible to you during your lifetime and then having what is left pass to specific beneficiaries (revocable trust), or you may wish to ensure that certain beneficiaries who you feel may not be able to manage your bequest do not receive all of it at once. Having a trust in place also keeps the information about your legacy private rather than in the public eye via probate. The estate planning attorneys at Bratton Scott have extensive knowledge about the different ways that trusts can be structured and worded in order to meet your unique goals.
There are many different types of trusts. These include marital trusts that benefit a surviving spouse, generation-skipping trusts that allow assets to be distributed to grandchildren or future generations without estate taxes being incurred upon the death of your children, and charitable remainder trusts that provide you with a steady income stream while still providing for a favorite charity. There are revocable and irrevocable trusts, with revocable trusts allowing you to protect your assets from probate but still maintaining your control of your money during your lifetime, and irrevocable trusts placing your assets out of your control entirely. Though this may sound intimidating, an irrevocable trust significantly reduces the estate taxes that will impact your estate, and can eliminate your obligation to pay taxes on any income that it generates during your lifetime.
Understanding what kind of trust will work to your best advantage can be difficult, as there are so many types of trusts and each has its own advantages and disadvantages, and each person’s situation is unique. The attorneys at Bratton Scott can guide you through the process, making sure that your estate plan is true to your goals for your legacy and provides you with the most benefits. Contact us today to set up an appointment.