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Different kinds of trusts you might include in your estate plan

On Behalf of | May 30, 2024 | Estate Planning |

Trusts serve as important tools in estate planning, helping individuals manage and protect their assets. Several types of trusts offer distinct advantages.

Understanding these trusts can help individuals make informed decisions about their financial future.

Revocable living trusts

A revocable living trust allows individuals to maintain control over their assets while alive. They can modify or revoke the trust at any time. This type of trust helps avoid probate, which can be lengthy and expensive. It also provides privacy since the details of the trust do not become public records. In addition, a revocable living trust can manage assets during the grantor’s lifetime if they become incapacitated.

Irrevocable trusts

Once established, an irrevocable trust cannot be changed or revoked. This trust offers significant benefits for asset protection and tax savings. Assets in an irrevocable trust are no longer part of the grantor’s estate, which can reduce estate taxes. Creditors cannot reach these assets, making them a secure option for protecting wealth. Irrevocable trusts also help in qualifying for Medicaid by removing assets from the grantor’s estate.

Special needs trusts

A special needs trust provides financial support for a person with disabilities without affecting their eligibility for government benefits. This trust can cover expenses not provided by Medicaid or Supplemental Security Income, such as personal care, education and recreation. The funds in a special needs trust do not count as assets for government benefit purposes.

Charitable trusts

Charitable trusts allow individuals to donate to charitable organizations while receiving tax benefits. A charitable remainder trust provides income to the grantor or other beneficiaries for a set period, after which the remaining assets go to the chosen charity. A charitable lead trust works in the opposite way, where the charity receives income for a specified time, and the remaining assets eventually go to other beneficiaries. Both types of trusts help reduce income and estate taxes.

Spendthrift trusts

A spendthrift trust protects beneficiaries from poor financial decisions by restricting their access to the trust funds. The trustee manages the trust and distributes funds according to the terms set by the grantor. This type of trust is ideal for beneficiaries who might waste their inheritance due to financial irresponsibility or vulnerability to creditors.

Understanding these different types of trusts and their benefits can help individuals make better decisions to secure their financial future and protect their loved ones.