Protecting Your Family with Trust Language
In conjunction with a will, trust language can be one of the most valuable estate planning tools that we have. Trusts are not only for the rich and famous. They are great devices for many people who want to protect their assets, minimize tax burdens, or ensure a bright future for family members. Trusts have the added benefit of allowing you to place conditions on how and when the contents of your estate will be divided and whom they will benefit.
Based in Houston, McCreary Law Office works with Texas clients to draft, update, and administer trusts as a part of a comprehensive estate plan as well as in conjunction with special needs planning and long-term care / Medicaid planning. The office also offers many online estate planning services.
Trusts Commonly Used in Estate Planning
In tandem with a will, trusts are a valuable part of a comprehensive estate plan. The two most common ways trusts are used in an estate plan are:
- Testamentary Trusts — those that are included in the language of a will
- Revocable Living Trusts — those created as a stand-alone “bucket” in which you place your assets
These two items are intended to simplify the process of passing your estate to others.
Generally, a trust used for estate planning contains all or a portion of your total assets (either now or after death). Trusts’ great versatility help especially if you have dependents or minor children who are not entitled to inherit assets until they reach the majority age. A trust could be set up for each child or grandchild and nieces and nephews, or you could create a collective pot trust to provide for the expected needs of a group of children. The trust language can also protect any inheritance as that child matures and learns how to make more financially prudent decisions. We can even design your trust to be able to hold inheritances for your child’s lifetime, striving to protect those assets from creditors, predators, or future divorces.
Establishing a living trust or a testamentary trust is a wonderful way to provide for family members and to create a plan that helps provide assurance you know who is watching over funds and how those funds can be used. As an estate planning attorney, Jana McCreary can assist with the creation, management, and administration of a trust to best strive to accomplish your goals.
Trusts and Probate
Sometimes probate can be relatively straightforward. But even then, an attorney and court appearances are often involved. And probate can be quite lengthy (and expensive), especially when it is a dependent administration. Trusts can help streamline the process, ideally saving money and often staving off potential conflicts. Trusts also help protect privacy.
Today, many specialized trusts are available. Some are created when the estate is settled while others are separate irrevocable entities that hold assets during your lifetime. Some trusts are used to reduce tax burdens. Others may even contain proceeds from retirement plans, insurance policies, and investments. Almost any type of asset can be transferred to a trust. Later in life, trusts can help protect your assets and assist you in the cost of long-term care. Special needs trusts may also be necessary to protect assets for future care of family members when they are entitled to particular government benefits.
Should a Trust Be a Part of Your Estate Plan?
If you think that a trust might be a valuable addition to your estate plan, Jana will be glad to discuss your situation, answer questions, and guide you through the process. Feel free to contact the Houston office anytime to arrange a meeting.