Do Trusts Pay Income Taxes?

Trusts consist of a grantor, a trustee, and at least one beneficiary. The grantor creates the trust, then funds it by transferring assets to it. We may not think of trusts as profit centers, but some trusts do generate income. This, of course, leads to the question, “Do trusts pay income taxes?” Whether they do or do not depends on several factors, starting with the type of trust involved. Simple Trust vs. Complex Read More

Is it Time to Update Your Trusts?

Years ago, Blake added a special needs trust, a revocable living trust, and a qualified terminable interest property (QTIP) trust to his estate plan. He knew he should review his estate planning and his trusts every so often, but just never seemed to have the time. When Blake passed away recently, his family was left with a messy probate situation. Assets had been bought and sold, some heirs had predeceased Blake, Read More

Myth Busting: 3 Beliefs About Trusts That Just Are Not True

Myths have abounded in the world since ancient times. However, over time myths have evolved from stories about Zeus and Poseidon to commonly-held-though-inaccurate beliefs about our modern life. Even a serious field like estate planning has not escaped the formation of myths. In this article, we will set out ‘myth busting’ three beliefs about trusts. #1 - Trusts are only for the wealthy. It’s true that some Read More

What You Can Learn from Celebrity Trusts

Between the paparazzi and social media, we often know more about celebrities than we care to. In fact, they are so far removed from your life, you may feel that there is nothing to be learned from their trials and triumphs. However, sometimes we can learn what not to do especially in terms of their estate planning. In this article, we will explore what you can learn from celebrity trusts. Establish Trusts as Read More

Can You Split Your Trust?

A trust is a legal entity created to hold assets for the benefit of one or more beneficiaries. If you contemplate adding a trust to your estate plan, you may wonder if there are any situations where you can split your trust if necessary. Under what conditions would a split, if allowed, help achieve your estate planning goals? In this article, we will look at several ways to split a trust. Split Your Trust with a Read More

Directed Trusts 101

While trusts are a common form of estate planning, there are variations in how trusts are formed. For example, Alex T. was considering forming a trust then transferring his family business to the trust. However, he was concerned about appointing a trustee. Alex had built his company from the ground up and was reluctant to hand authority and control to someone who did not possess his personal interest in the company. Read More

Build Asset Protection into Your Estate Plan

A simple estate plan covers the basics: you get to choose who will represent you if you become incapacitated, who will make medical decisions on your behalf, and how your property will be distributed after you are gone. What a simple plan does not cover is how to protect that property before and after your death. That’s why it is so important to build asset protection into your estate plan. Let’s consider Jeremy, Read More

What Is Probate?

You have probably heard of probate. In fact, you may have read about celebrity estates gone bad or tips for avoiding probate altogether. Still, it is a good idea to understand exactly what it entails. Someday, you may be involved in probate for a loved one. Your loved ones may be involved in probating your estate also. Probate Defined Florida law defines probate of Will to mean “all steps necessary to establish the Read More

Techniques for Keeping Your Probate Estate Small

Probate – it seems like something most people want to avoid or minimize at the very least. However, a decedent’s property must pass through probate to heirs and beneficiaries, right? Not always. There are techniques for keeping your probate estate small that may help your heirs get their inheritance more quickly and pay less in expenses. An important goal, then, may be to keep Assets OUT of Your Estate. But 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