A married couple is certainly not required to create their estate plans together; however, it is often preferred due to shared assets that must be addressed in each estate plan. One estate planning tool that is frequently used by married couples is a living trust. A living trust can help accomplish a myriad of estate planning goals and objectives while also remaining flexible enough to be easily tailored to the needs of each trust maker. It’s an ideal addition to any estate plan. So, it’s no … [Read more...] about What Happens to a Living Trust When One Spouse Dies?
Although a Last Will and Testament generally serves as the foundation of any comprehensive estate plan, most plans also include a variety of additional documents and strategies. One of the most common additions to an estate plan is a trust agreement. If you plan to include a trust agreement in your estate plan you will need to decide which type of trust is right for your plan. Understanding the difference between a testamentary trust and a living trust is essential to deciding which type of … [Read more...] about What Is a Living Trust?
A Last Will and Testament usually serves as the foundation of a comprehensive estate plan. For most people, however, a Will is just the beginning of an estate plan. People often choose to add additional documents and estate planning tools to help achieve a multitude of goals and objectives. Though once used primarily by wealthy families as a method to pass down the family fortune, trusts have become an increasingly popular addition to estate plans for people from all walks of life. If you decide … [Read more...] about Who Should I Appoint as the Trustee of My Living Trust?
Just a few generations ago trusts were used primarily by very wealthy families as a way to pass down the family wealth while maintaining some degree of control over the money. Today, trusts can still accomplish that goal; however, they can also do much more. For this reason, even the average estate planner often includes at least one trust in his or her estate plan. For many people, they choose to include a living trust. To decide if a living trust might be a beneficial addition to your estate … [Read more...] about Why Should I Have A Living Trust?
For many people an estate plan includes much more than a simple Last Will and Testament. Although there are numerous estate planning tools and documents that can be incorporated into an estate plan, some are used more than others. Trusts, for example, are a common estate planning addition. Once created though, what happens if you want to change something in the trust? For starters, not all trusts can be changed. Irrevocable trusts cannot be changed absent the intervention of a court, for … [Read more...] about Amending a Trust
A trust can be a powerful estate planning tool, and you need to make several decisions when creating a trust, including choosing a Trustee to manage the property held by a trust. But a Trustee does not necessarily have to be a family member or a trusted friend. To review how a trust works: When you create a trust you transfer assets such as a real estate, stock or money to the trust. These assets are then managed for the benefit of the Beneficiaries by a Trustee. While a Grantor, the … [Read more...] about Trusting a Professional Trustee
Before setting up a living trust as part of your estate planning process, you need to think through some of the things that should be included. First, you need to figure out whether you want an individual or shared trust. If you are in a domestic partnership or you are married, then look to see if most of your property is jointly owned. If so, a shared trust might be the best way to go. Next you want to decide who will inherit your property under the trust. This is typically family … [Read more...] about The Living Trust Checklist