Revocable vs. Irrevocable Trust: Which Is Right for You?

Choosing the right tool often requires specific knowledge. You have to know what you want to accomplish and what the tool can do. When preparing your estate plan, you have a number of tools from which to choose, including revocable and irrevocable trusts. Both offer advantages and disadvantages. However, in a direct, head-to-head face off – revocable vs. irrevocable trust – which better suits your needs? Let’s Read More

Aretha Franklin’s Estate Dilemma

In her long and illustrious career, Aretha Franklin hit many milestones:  first female artist inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, winner of 18 Grammys and a host of chart-topping albums and singles. When she passed away on August 16, 2018, she was added to the long list of celebrities who failed to leave an estate plan. With an estate estimated to be worth tens of millions of dollars, it’s difficult to Read More

Top 8 Reasons to Use a Living Trust

People come to estate planning with different goals, different estate problems, and different family circumstances. Some people have very simple estates that require very simple estate planning while others need advanced planning. Trusts are a common estate planning tool. If you are unsure how a living trust might help you, read on to learn eight reasons to use a living trust. #1: Asset Protection A living trust Read More

Why Do I Need Asset Protection?

Maybe you read an article about asset protection and want to learn more. Or maybe your attorney suggested you think about asset protection strategies. You are both curious and a little resistant. It may be hard to understand why you need asset protection. Understanding Asset Protection The first thing to remember is that assets need to be protected before any claims have been made. In fact, transfers made after a Read More

Disadvantages of Using an Irrevocable Trust

Maura was puzzled. She and her husband were finally thinking of putting together an estate plan. They had done some online research and stumbled across articles about irrevocable and revocable trusts. The irrevocable trust seemed to offer the kind of asset protection they wanted. However, she knew there had to be disadvantages to using any estate planning tool. What is an irrevocable trust? Every trust has at least Read More

Best Places to Establish a Domestic Asset Protection Trust

You may wish to protect your property from divorces, civil judgments, and creditors. One possible way to accomplish this is to use a Domestic Asset Protection Trust. However, only a handful of states allow this type of trust, and their laws vary. It’s important to research the best places to establish a Domestic Asset Protection Trust before setting one up. Domestic Asset Protection Trust Trusts are sometimes used Read More

How to Choose the Right Trust

Estate plans should include a Last Will and Testament, a durable power of attorney, and a medical power of attorney. Some people also prepare other documents, like a Living Will or a trust. But, when you start working on your estate plan, how will you know which trust is right for you? Consider Your Goals People who set out to develop an estate plan usually have goals in mind. Take some time to think about what you Read More

When Are Staged Withdrawal Rights a Bad Idea?

Mary wanted her children to benefit from the comfortable net worth she had built. Fortunately for them, she consulted with an estate planning attorney. She considered setting up trust funds for her children but was unsure how to handle the payouts:  outright or through staged withdrawal rights? First, What Does ‘Staged Withdrawal Rights’ Mean? Trust assets are disbursed to beneficiaries at some point. When a trust Read More

Pet Trusts: Providing for Man’s Best Friend (and Cats, Too)

Ella C. lived a long life, blessed by her family and her beloved pets. At the time of her death, two pets lived with her: Lucy, her 10-year-old Labrador Retriever, and Thor, a 2-year old Russian Blue cat. Her children knew their mother loved and pampered the animals, but they had no idea what to do with the pets after she was gone. Her estate planning made no mention of the animals, so the family did the best they Read More

Qualities to Look for in a Trustee

Edward N. faced a dilemma while preparing his estate plan. He needed to name someone to serve as trustee of his family trust. Fortunately, he had several close friends and family members who might be suitable. However, he had trouble choosing one over another. Edward wondered what qualities his trustee should possess. The first thing Edward learned is that a trustee’s duties vary. The trust document used to Read More