Trusts are a popular and versatile part of estate planning for a wide variety of reasons. The seasoned Estate Planning Attorneys at Beress & Zalkind PLLC can provide trusted guidance and legal services when you need help creating, managing and executing various forms of trusts in New York, New Jersey and Florida. As you consider your specific needs for estate planning, consider these reasons why trusts are so popular for individuals and families of all ages and circumstances.
Avoid Probate Court – Trusts are continued to be executed by the family upon the grantor’s death and are not subject to probate court. This saves time and court costs for your family and beneficiaries. Trusts are also kept private, since they are not subject to public probate proceedings.
Reduce Estate Taxes – Trusts can be used to reduce or even eliminate heavy estate taxes and capital gains taxes for the beneficiaries, saving your family and beneficiaries considerable funds.
Keep Control of Your Assets – Trusts can allow the grantor a certain level of control over their own assets, including how, when and to whom they are distributed. Some trusts can be changed right up until the grantor’s death.
Protect Your Children from Their Creditors – Trusts can allow your children’s inheritance to be protected from any potential claim, including a claim from their spouses.
Simple Form of Estate Planning – Once established, trusts are quite simple to maintain. Some changes may be necessary from time to time (such as adding a new asset or beneficiary) but they rarely need to be amended otherwise.
Plan For Worst Case Scenarios – Estate planning is meant to take care of you and your loved ones for the future, and this can include if you become incapacitated. Trust funds can be a safety net for your family if the unthinkable occurs.
Provide for Children with Special Needs – Creating a special needs trust can ensure proper care of a special needs child after your death. This can provide long-term financial assistance, medical care or other needs throughout the child’s lifetime.
Divide Unique Assets Fairly – Some assets are not easily divided among beneficiaries, such as vacation homes, vehicles, commercial real estate or mineral interests. Trusts can designate how these complex assets are to be used and managed for the benefit of all.
Add Family Protections – Trusts can be used to ensure your family members receive exactly what you intend, regardless of any changes in their status. Divorce, remarriage, new children or other changes will not affect their inheritance.
Enable Charitable Giving – Trusts can be an important vehicle to reduce income taxes and fund charitable giving, which can also benefit your family or other beneficiaries.
Medicaid Planning – Certain trusts can hold assets that will not be counted toward calculations for Medicaid, allowing you to enjoy these federal benefits. Your surviving spouse or disabled children can also benefit from a Medicaid trust.
Provide for Your Spouse – Trusts can be used to provide an ongoing, structured income to a surviving spouse after the grantor’s death; they can also preserve the assets for another beneficiary if the spouse remarries.
Choosing the Best Structure for Trusts
Choosing the best trust for your particular estate plan depends on numerous factors. Some questions to ask when considering different trusts can include:
- What assets do I wish to protect?
- What is the overall size of my estate?
- Do I wish to provide ongoing income for my spouse after my death?
- Will my children manage my assets properly after my death?
- Will there likely be family conflict after my death?
- Do I wish to retain control of my assets during my lifetime?
- Do I own complex real estate?
- What happens if I become incapacitated?
- Can a trust help me to qualify for Medicaid benefits?
- Do I have a special needs child that requires ongoing care?
- Do I wish to facilitate long-term charitable giving?
Beress & Zalkind PLLC is your experienced Estate Planning Firm that can help you ask and answer the right questions and build a secure future for your loved ones with various types of trusts and other estate planning tools in New York, New Jersey and Florida. Contact us today for a consultation.
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