Estate Planning is the process of working with an attorney to create a legally-binding plan for what will happen to your belongings, property, and remaining money after you pass away. Estate Planning can be accomplished through a variety of methods, or even a combination of a few. Your Estate Plan is catered to fit your life and your specific needs.
One of the most helpful forms of Estate Planning is through creating Trusts. Generally speaking, when you create a trust you still control the assets within the trust until you pass, and then a third-party who you have selected manages the trust and implements your directions to disperse your property to your beneficiaries. For married couples, a trust can preserve the assets and income for the surviving spouse first, and then pass it along to your remaining beneficiaries when he or she passes away. Unlike a Will, assets placed in a Trust don’t enter probate and are transferred immediately to your loved ones.
We’ve written about two kinds of Trusts before: Revocable Living Trusts, which you can change after you create them, and Irrevocable Living Trusts, which cannot be altered. There are dozens of different types of Trusts, however, for all sorts of purposes. Here are 3 different types of Trusts that might be right for you:
A Special Needs Trust is designed to maintain ownership of assets to be used for caring for a loved one with special needs. These trusts are often used to hold property or money for a disabled person so that the beneficiary can maintain his or her eligibility for public assistance benefits. Since you can cater a Trust to their specific needs, you can set up a Trust to benefit someone with special needs who may not be able to take care of themselves or retain money they directly inherit. You can use a Special Needs Trust to take care of a loved one for decades after you are gone.
A Charitable Trust is one designed for a charitable organization rather than an individual. Charitable Trusts are helpful because you can fund them over time, rather than making a one-time donation or leaving a set amount in your Will, and they can provide income and estate tax benefits to you now.
A Qualified Domestic Trust is designed for a United States citizen to pass along assets to their foreign citizen spouse. It uses a Trust to give a foreign citizen spouse the benefits that married couples would normally receive in the United States. Among other purposes, it can bypass the taxes that would normally be associated with leaving assets to a foreign citizen.
Finding the right Trust for you depends entirely on your own personal needs and abilities. There are even many more types of Trusts than we could ever fit into one article. To discuss your options and find the right Trust for your Estate Plan, contact Carroll Law Firm today! We help you simplify life’s complexities.
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