Trusts: Making The Most Of Your Estate Planning Tools
Trusts are useful for accomplishing specific estate planning goals. There are different types of trusts for different scenarios. Do you need one? How do they work? Is there a downside?
The experienced lawyers of the Law Office of Penniann J. Schumann PLLC can explore the use of trusts in conjunction with your will and other estate planning documents. We have helped people from all walks of life take advantage of the benefits of a customized trust arrangement. Our founding attorney has unique insights as a former trust administrator.
What Is A Trust?
A trust takes assets out of your estate and sets them aside on behalf of someone else. Those assets are managed by a trust administrator (trustee), who could be a family member or a professional administrator. One of the primary benefits is that assets held in trust do not go through the probate process; they pass directly to the beneficiaries without the wait time and expense of probate.
What Are The Purposes Of A Trust?
Unlike a will, not everyone needs a trust. It depends on the size of the estate, the complexity of the assets and your goals. Some of the common types of trusts include:
- Revocable living trust – This moves assets outside your estate but allows you to still access funds or alter the trust during your lifetime.
- Irrevocable trust – This offers the greatest asset protection from creditors, lawsuits and other threats. But once assets are placed in the trust, you no longer own or control them. They are often used in charitable planning, planning to protect money for heirs when you might need Medicaid assistance for long-term care, or planning with life insurance to save on possible estate taxes.
- Special needs trusts – This provides supplemental spending money, travel and quality of life perks for a family member with disabilities while still preserving their eligibility for government benefits such as Medicaid.
This is only a thumbnail of the possibilities. Our lawyers have sophisticated knowledge of the various types of trusts for accomplishing specific purposes.
Decades Of Experience In Trust Planning And Trust Management
Penniann Schumann formerly worked as a trust officer for a national bank, administering trust assets on behalf of the states of Utah and Idaho. That perspective helps ensure that trust language is properly drafted and gives clear guidance to the trustee. We also follow up to assist grantors and trustees with properly funding the trusts and complying with accounting and reporting requirements.