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

Building Your Legacy Through a Charitable Remainder Trust

For some clients, the thought of legacy extends beyond the confines of family. Donating time and money to community charities is one way to do that. An estate planning tool – the charitable remainder trust – allows people to donate while still retaining some important benefits. A Most Useful Tool – the Charitable Remainder Trust. Estate planning attorneys have many estate planning strategies and tools at their Read More

What Happens to a Trust After Death?

Trusts are a common, yet diverse, estate planning tool. There are trusts for different purposes, with different terms and provisions. Some trusts, called testamentary trusts, are created by the settlor’s Will after his or her death. But many trusts are established during the lifetime of the settlor. When you consider establishing a trust, it’s important to know what happens to a trust after the death of the Read More

Lifetime QTIP Trusts and Your Second Marriage

Diane was a successful business owner with three children from her first marriage. Jack, a car salesman, was father to two children from his first marriage. When they found love the second time around, they realized it was time to update their estate plans to meet the needs of their blended family. Their goals were slightly different, though. Diane, the wealthier of the two, lived at a higher standard of living than Read More