Trusts and You

August 12, 2010

Trusts are vehicles that can help shelter your assets from taxation and manage the property that you leave to your heirs. Simply put, you transfer property in the name of a trustee who manages it for the benefit of a third party, the beneficiary. One of the great advantages of trusts in their flexibility. They can be adapted to fit a wide variety of situations. In fact, as our attorneys at Wealth Enhancement Group say, “Trust is not the key word. Trust doesn’t tell you that much.”

What precedes the word trust tells you everything. The most important aspect of trusts is that they allow property to be managed according to the donor’s specific wishes, far into the future. Living trusts allow you to control trust assets; irrevocable trusts take away control but offer many attractive estate tax implications and more. Your advisers can help you determine which type of trust best suits your situation

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Wills

September 15, 2009

The basic instrument of estate planning is the will, a legal document in which you state who will receive what portion of your property, as well as when and under what conditions they will receive it. A will also allows you to designate a guardian for your children and an executor or personal representative who carries out the terms of the will. If you die intestate-without a will-the executor and guardian are appointed by the court, and your assets are disposed of according to state law.

In all states, however, at least part of your estate will go to your children, and ,n many states they will receive more than your spouse. A will that is complete and current, on the at names all those legally entitled to a share in your estate, accounts for assets, and pays all creditors, will ensure that the administration of your estate proceeds quickly according to your intentions. Keeping those close to you informed of your plans, especially if you’re financial or family situation changes, can help avoid litigation, costly delays, and unnecessary conflict.