Create A Trust To Ensure That Your Assets Pass On To The Right People
A trust is a set of instructions that a person leaves telling someone else how to manage and distribute property. Normally, a trust does not need to proceed through a probate court in order to become effective. The person making the trust is called the trustmaker, and the person managing and distributing the property is called the trustee. Trusts are used to:
- Allow a client to provide for his or her own care in the event of disability or incapacity
- Allow a client to avoid costly administrative expenses, lawyer’s fees, time delay and publicity involved in probating a will
- Allow a client to accomplish maximum state and federal estate tax planning
Understanding Your Options When Creating A Trust
There are many kinds of trusts, and it’s important to choose the type that best meets your needs. Some common types of trust include special needs trusts (for children and adults who cannot care for themselves), charitable trusts, land trusts and life insurance trusts.
All trusts, however, can be divided into two major categories: “revocable” and “irrevocable” trusts. Here’s the difference:
- Revocable trusts: A revocable living trust, usually just called a “living trust,” is drafted while you are still alive. For the rest of your life, you retain the power to change the terms of the trust, or “revoke” the trust altogether. A revocable trust provides flexibility, and it can help your family avoid the probate process.
- Irrevocable trusts: Unlike a revocable living trust, the terms of an irrevocable trust are usually permanent. In other words, once you place assets in an irrevocable trust, they usually cannot take these assets out if your plans change later. It is possible to modify an irrevocable trust, but it takes a lot more work to do so than with a revocable living trust. The advantage to irrevocable trusts, however, is that they can help you reduce your tax burden and protect your assets from creditors.