A trust is a legal arrangement establishing a person or bank as the trustee who holds property for the beneficiaries of the trust. Trusts have several purposes. Often trusts are established to avoid the time and expense of probate on the death of the donor. The donor continues to use and enjoy the property during his/her lifetime. Some trusts are created for “credit shelter” tax advantages for the donor and/or the beneficiaries. Other trusts protect property and allow the donor to qualify for Medicaid. We will work closely with you to ascertain which, if any, trust will fit your needs and your family’s protection:
Revocable “Living” Trust
The donor maintains complete control over the trust to amend, revoke or terminate at any time.
- Asset management: Named trustee administers and invests the trust property for the benefit of one or more beneficiaries. Donor may be and often is, the trustee during his/her lifetime
- Probate avoidance: Upon death, the trust property passes to whoever is named in the trust without probate court jurisdiction
- Tax planning: Assets may be retained in the grantor's taxable estate, not the estate of the beneficiary, which may avoid taxes upon the death of the beneficiary
The donor cannot change or amend the trust.
- Testamentary Trust: Created by a will or trust, testamentary trust has no power or effect until the donor dies, can be used to reduce estate taxes, can be used to protect assets or provide care for a minor or disabled child.
- Supplemental Needs Trust: Provisions for donor to provide continuing care of disabled spouse, child, relative, or friend, and maintain benefits for disabled heir
- Credit Shelter Trust: May protect beneficiary from taxes and/or creditors