Business Succession Planning, Planning For Individuals With Special Needs, Estate Planning For Children
“He took his time explaining every page to my mother and even made sure that she had a translator, just to confirm that she knew what she was reading before signing.”
What are Revocable Living Trusts?
Trusts are simply an arrangement where one party holds property on behalf of another party. Trusts are created by the person doing the estate planning (the grantor), who authorizes another person (the trustee) to manage the assets for the benefit of a third party (the beneficiaries). There are many reasons for establishing trusts including creditor protection, tax minimization or providing for the needs of underage beneficiaries. If you do not fund your trust then your trust document may be meaningless. In order for your trust to hold your assets, those assets must be retitled into the name of your trust or your trust must be listed as a beneficiary of your assets (such as with your life insurance policy, etc.). Your assets will be owned by your trust only if it is properly funded.
What are the advantages of having a Revocable Living Trust?
Trusts are private documents and avoid probate court when properly funded. Wills become public documents through the probate court process and do not avoid probate court. Unlike a will which just allows you to distribute your assets to your beneficiaries outright after you pass away, a trust allows you to keep your assets in trust for lifetime and to distribute assets to your beneficiaries when they are in need of it. This allows your beneficiaries to maintain creditor protection against any current or potential creditor such as through a divorce or a lawsuit. A trust also allows you to distribute your assets to your beneficiaries at different ages, instead of keeping the assets in a lifetime trust. Common misconceptions about trusts are that only need them if you are wealthy. That is false. If you have minor children, you need a trust. If you want to maintain flexibility with regard to the disposition of your assets, you need a trust. If you want to maintain privacy, you need a trust. If you want to lower estate, income, or other potential taxes, you need a trust. If you want to have creditor protection, you need a trust. There are many benefits to a trust.
Will I lose any control over my property if I create a Revocable Living Trust?
No. As the grantor (creator) of the trust, you will have full control and power to amend the trust at any time during your life, as long as you have the mental capacity to do so. A revocable living trust is simply that, revocable, and because of that you will not lose control over property.
What benefits can a Special Needs Trust provide if the beneficiary is receiving government benefits?
A special needs trust can add benefits to supplement those benefits already being received by government agencies which include but are not limited to: non-food groceries and sundries; attendance of religious services; educational needs and supplies; medical services not covered by government benefits; transportation (including purchase of a vehicle); prepaid funeral and burial arrangements; tickets to cultural or sporting events; membership in recreational clubs, cultural institutions; apparel, including maintenance and repair of same; pet, service animal and supplies, veterinary services; academic or recreational courses or classes; therapies not covered by benefits programs; and domestic and personal care services.
What is a Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care?
A Durable Power of Attorney for health care allows an agent/patient advocate to make financial decisions on your behalf, during your incapacity. Without a Durable Power of Attorney for health care, it may be necessary for one of your loved ones, including your spouse or adult child to petition a court to be appointed guardian in order to make medical decisions for you when you are incapacitated. This guardianship process is time consuming, expensive, often costing thousands of dollars and it can be emotionally draining for your family.
You'll find more information on the FAQ page of our website.
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