Family trusts are a valuable estate planning strategy that allows individuals to control what happens to their assets during their lifetime and upon death. Furthermore, property held in trusts is exempt from probate and can be quickly passed along to family members.
It isn’t hard to arrange family trusts, but the process takes a little time. Individuals need to gather property titles, financial records, and take inventory of assets being transferred to the trust. They also need to choose a person to act as the Trustee upon death, along with beneficiaries who will receive inheritance.
Most people find it helpful to hire a lawyer to guide them through the process. Trusts can be customized to suit your needs, but must also comply with state guidelines. Once documents are executed you’ll need to fund the trust. This involves obtaining new property titles and changing account holder name on financial accounts.
At Craton, Switzer and Tokar, we present available options and discuss the different types of trusts with each client. Everyone has unique circumstances, so we talk about those to determine the best estate planning strategies.
Anyone who wants to retain privacy for their family ought to consider trusts. When a last Will is filed through probate court it becomes a matter of public record. However, when part of a trust, the contents of the Will remain private. The only people privy to the information is Trustees, heirs, and beneficiaries.
Family trusts are ideal for safeguarding property throughout your lifetime and beyond. A Trustee is designated to handle estate settlement upon death. A durable power of attorney can be included to authorize Trustees to handle personal matters in the event you become incapacitated and unable to make decisions due to health reasons.
Trustees are only allowed to handle duties outlined in the power of attorney. Trustees can take care of things like paying bills from your checking account and making deposits into investment accounts.
It’s important to also include a health power of attorney which authorizes the Trustee to make medical decisions on your behalf. Medical POA lets you state any types of medical treatments that you do or do not want to have to sustain life. This includes things such as do not rescesitate (DNR) orders, life support, or denial of artificial nutrition.
Family trusts are ideal for married couples and people who have minor aged children. Individuals can establish financial arrangements for children under the age of 18 by setting up a child trust fund and designating a Trustee to manage the trust until they reach legal age.
Putting together an estate planning portfolio is the only way to ensure loved ones receive inheritance gifts you want to pass along to them. Additionally, it provides peace of mind knowing someone you trust can take over if you have serious health problems.
Working with a law firm eases the process and guarantees trusts are established to comply with state laws. Estate lawyers go through extensive training and can assist in helping clients utilize strategies that will protect their assets. Attorneys can also help establish plans to minimize estate and inheritance taxes.
If you are concerned about protecting your loved ones in the event the unthinkable happens, let the law firm of Craton, Switzer and Tokar put your fears to rest. We specialize in estate planning strategies and can help you create a plan that will protect assets and ensure they are passed along to intended beneficiaries. Click here to get in touch with us today.