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

What You Need to Know About Community Property Trusts

Janet and Bobby G. were living in Texas when they started their life together as man and wife. After 20 years, they moved to Florida. As a married couple living in Texas, most of their assets were considered community property, but Florida is not a community property state. As new Florida residents, they needed to explore the potential benefits of a community property trust. First, Some Definitions Most assets Read More

Will a GRAT Help Fund Your Retirement?

Walter had accumulated a modest fortune during his years as a successful businessman. As he looked ahead toward retirement, his estate planning attorney suggested some options that might provide him with an income. They considered several strategies, including buy-sell agreements and trusts. Walter was most interested in a GRAT. What is a GRAT? GRAT is an acronym meaning Grantor Retained Annuity Trust. The grantor Read More

Benefits to Establishing a Florida Land Trust

There’s more than one way to own property. Most people, though, just own it outright. Their name shows up in the county deed records for all to see. What if there was another way to own property, a way that may offer more privacy and protection? Read on to learn more about the benefits gained by establishing a Florida land trust. The Florida Land Trust Act allows a revocable trust to own real property. The trust, Read More

Know the Facts Before You Say Yes: Agreeing to Serve as Trustee

When a friend or loved one asks us to do something, we often say yes without giving the request any deep thought. But some requests carry with them responsibility and even potential liability, like being named an agent in a durable power of attorney or the trustee to a trust. If you’re thinking of agreeing to serve as trustee, there are some important factors to consider. The trust document is a legal document Read More