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What Kind of Trust is Right for Your Estate Plan?

02/14/2017

What Kind of Trust is Right for Your Estate Plan?

If you want to be sure that your assets will be properly and privately distributed, according to Yahoo Finance in “How to Choose Between a Revocable and Irrevocable Trust,” you should speak with an experienced estate planning attorney like Daniel T. Fleischer for the proper legal advice. Depending on your situation and the type of trust, you may also gain some tax advantages and protect your assets from creditors.

Irrevocable or Revocable Trust

Think about the amount of control that you need over your assets. This will dictate if you should have an irrevocable or revocable trust (provided one of these is appropriate in your situation).

A revocable trust allows you to revoke and rewrite the terms of the trust. However, an irrevocable trust does just the opposite. You—otherwise legally called the trustor, grantor, or settlor—create the irrevocable trust, then relinquish control to a trustee. There’s no do-over, and you can’t change the terms of the trust or fire the trustee without getting the approval from the beneficiaries. The amount of control as the grantor over the trust equates to the benefits. The more control that you have, the fewer the immediate benefits. However, the less control you have, the greater the potential benefits in the future.

If your goal is to reduce estate taxes, which has been the traditional rationale for a trust, recent changes to tax law state that the exemption on estate taxes is now $10.98 million for married couples. This eliminates the tax reduction rationale for most people. There’s no tax savings by pouring assets into a revocable trust. And this trust doesn’t protect assets from creditors like an irrevocable trust will do.

The main reason for a revocable trust is to have someone manage your assets when you can no longer manage your own affairs. When you move assets to a revocable trust, you give instructions on how they should be used if you were to be incapacitated, unable to handle your financial affairs or upon your death. This usually occurs without going through probate and has some level of privacy for your living heirs. When you pass, a properly set up revocable trust will become an irrevocable trust, with a trustee managing it. As a result, a revocable trust can become somewhat of a substitute for a will and will give some privacy to the family. However, I still recommend a will for my clients even if they have a trust because there are times that assets are not transferred or titled in the name of the trust.

Incapacity

A revocable trust is useful for setting up plans to handle your assets and income if you become incapacitated. The trust will contain a provision for the continued management of the assets without a formal court order. However, you might also be able to achieve the same planning goals by using a general durable power of attorney. Talk with an experienced estate planning attorney to be sure.

Irrevocable trusts are only for those who are super sure. The main irrevocable trust advantages (tax advantages) are primarily for the very well-off. Those advantages can be complex. For everyone else, the advantages of irrevocable trusts are in addressing special circumstances, like guaranteeing for the continued support of a disabled dependent or ensuring the protection of assets from professional liability.

Here’s the part that people often neglect to do: place the assets in the trust. This happens more often than you might expect!

Used correctly, trusts have many different applications: transferring wealth to grandchildren, protecting assets from divorce proceedings and providing a means of protecting loved ones. Talk with your estate planning attorney to see if your situation warrants the use of a trust.

Do you live in Miami-Dade, Broward, or Palm Beach counties in Florida? Laws are constantly changing-- has your estate plan been reviewed in the last 2-3 years? Call me (954-888-1747) right away for peace of mind. I can help!

  • My practice is exclusively estate planning and probate,
  • I have prepared numerous estate plans in 16 years of practice,
  • I have administered estates and trusts through Probate all over Florida,
  • I am a Certified Financial Planner Professional™, and
  • I am here for YOU today and there for your FAMILY tomorrow.

Reference: Yahoo Finance (January 23, 2017) “How to Choose Between a Revocable and Irrevocable Trust”

Testimonials
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Why would we recommend D.T.F.? Several Reasons: Your ability to explain complex estate problems, clearly and patiently; your total lack of arrogance and pretense; a strong feeling that you are motivated by what you perceive is best for your client, rather than what would generate the largest legal fees; finally, and importantly, you are a lovely guy.
★★★★★

Two words cannot sum up the entire process of creating my “trust.” I enjoyed your attention to detail, your patience of explaining terms and conditions until I understood, also giving me copies to read and understand. Thank you for your suggestions on what was best for “me” but still allowing me to make my choice. Most of all, thank you for thinking of “me.” Wells Fargo said “you were the best” I cannot deny that. Again thank you very much for everything. Anna is an asset or a compliment to the firm. She is warm and very caring. It was great doing business. Thank you.

P.M.