A revocable or living trust is a legal document that, like a will, often contains your instructions for what you want to happen to your assets when you die. It can be an effective way to manage your assets during life, while providing a smooth transfer of wealth upon death. Unlike a will, a living trust can avoid probate at death, can control many of your assets and can prevent the court from controlling your assets at incapacity, if your assets are actually in the trust. An irrevocable trust, often called a life insurance trust or "ILIT", can provide liquidity at your death and minimize estate taxation. Trusts for minors may be an appropriate wealth planning tool. Real estate trusts can provide ease in gift giving or adjustments between or among beneficiaries of real estate assets. All of these trusts can be part of your estate plan.
The funding of trusts is an important issue. Splitting the trusts assets to a Marital and/or Family Trust at death can be complicated; but we enjoy the challenge. The title on real estate and other assets such as brokerage accounts, CDs or bank accounts, must be changed to reflect their inclusion in the trust. Beneficiary designations for some assets, like life insurance policies, could be changed to your trust if appropriate to do so.
Once a trust has been set up there are several steps a trustee must take in order to fulfill his or her duties. Investment and management of trust assets, preparation of trust accountings and tax returns, and making distributions to beneficiaries are all duties of the trustee. Mistakes or omissions by a trustee can result in personal liability of the trustee. The lawyers at Clements Pajak LLC can help you administer, create or fund your trusts. We can discuss the various types of trusts that will most nearly meet your needs or wishes.
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IRS Circular 230 Notice:To ensure compliance with requirements imposed by the Internal Revenue Service, we inform you that any U.S. tax advice contained in this communication is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used by any taxpayer, for the purpose of avoiding U.S. tax penalties.