trusts as estate planning tools


Many believe that trusts are only for millionaires. Trusts can be invaluable tools in the estate plans of many of individuals. In estate planning, trusts are created by the person doing the estate planning, the Trustor, who authorizes another, the Trustee, to manage the assets for the benefit of a third party, the Beneficiary. Some types of trusts that are commonly used in estate planning include:


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There are many different types of trusts, each of which can be tailored to serve the planning of a person’s estate. An experienced estate planning attorney can help you assess your finances and goals to determine the best vehicles to preserve your wealth and your legacy.


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Trusts for minors
Many people leave money to their loved ones in a trust as part of a their estate plan. This is typically done to ensure the money is there for their benefit while they are younger--for support, education, medical expenses, etc. Once the children reach a certain age or achievement level, they may receive money from the trust to do with as they please.

   
Marital trusts
Marital trusts can provide an arrangement where a spouse with grown children from a previous marriage may let the new spouse use the property after the first one passes, but after the new spouse passes away, the trust property goes to the first spouse’s children.
   

Revocable living trusts

Revocable living trusts are documents separate from wills, although they often work together with wills to implement the decedent’s wishes. RLTs are primarily used to avoid probate or when a person owns real estate in multiple states.

   
Irrevocable life insurance trusts
Irrevocable life insurance trusts can be used in order to move a person’s life insurance proceeds outside his or her estate for estate tax purposes.


Spendthrift  trusts
Spendthrift trusts are generally established to protect the beneficiaries’ assets from both themselves and creditors. These trusts usually have an independent trustee who has complete discretion over the distribution of assets of the trust.