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Wills & Estates

Is a Trust Right for You and Your Family?

Many of us think that our business affairs are not complicated enough to consider a trust arrangement. Nothing could be further from the truth. Trusts have a variety of uses and are appropriate for the average family in many instances.

How a Trust Works

Perhaps the reason many persons shy away from any kind of trust arrangement is that they do not understand how a trust works. A trust is a legal arrangement among three parties. The person who creates the trust is called the "grantor" or "creator" and he or she is the one that sets up the trust. The second party to a trust arrangement is the trustee, i.e. the person who holds and manages the assets placed in trust by the grantor or creator. The third person involved in the trust arrangement is the beneficiary. This is the person who receives the benefits of the trust. This is usually the income of the trust. Many times, it also includes the principal of the trust.

Let's look at 3 situations in which a trust could help you and your family:

1. Protect Your Children

A trust arrangement is often beneficial in family planning in order to protect your children. You may want to create a trust in your will so that, in the event of the simultaneous death of you and your spouse, joint assets will pass to a trust for the use and benefit of your children. The trust contains directions on how the asset is to be used for your children, when the children are to receive income from the trust, and many other details that you might wish to address in connection with the care of your children.

2. Reduce Estate Tax Liabilities

A trust arrangement may be beneficial as a tax fighter and is used in estate planning. A "two trust" estate plan is often desirable in order to reduce, or even eliminate, estate tax liabilities. Although this is not the place to discuss this in detail, suffice it to say that the two-trust estate plan is very important in enabling you to pass your assets on to your beneficiaries with minimal estate taxes.

3. Leave Investment Worries to the Experts

A trust arrangement may also relieve you of the burdens of investments, leaving that to the "expert" trustee. You may have established a significant portfolio of assets which you now wish to enjoy. The creation of a trust instrument, naming a bank or other expert as trustee, enables you to enjoy the benefits of your assets with few administrative headaches. It certainly could enable you to enjoy your retirement, knowing that your assets are being efficiently managed for your benefit.

Contact Us

To learn how a trust or other estate-planning arrangement may benefit you, please contact us for a free consultation by filling out our contact form or by calling us at (304) 574-2727. We look forward to hearing from you.