Almost all of my clients incorporate a revocable living trust as one part of their estate planning. I am often asked questions which have a trust based solution, but which call for an irrevocable trust in addition to a revocable living trust. This post summarizes, in broad terms, when such a trust might be useful. When Only an Irrevocable Trust Will Do Medicaid Planning -- Almost half of all seniors in nursing homes across the country depend on Medicaid to help defray the high cost … [Read more...] about The Unique Benefits of Establishing an Irrevocable Trust
Many of my clients want to use a trust to manage and distribute their estate assets; however, they also want to make sure those assets are protected even after they reach their intended beneficiaries. One estate planning tool that can be used to accomplish both goals is the use of an irrevocable asset protection or inheritance trust. When used appropriately, this kind of " spendthrift trust" can protect assets held in a trust from misuse by beneficiaries or in the alternative or in addition, to … [Read more...] about How to Protect your Beneficiaries from Bad Choices and Bad Luck
I often consult with unmarried couples who are deeply committed to each other yet have made the decision not to marry now – or perhaps never to marry. If you are part of an unmarried couple, estate planning takes on heightened importance for you because the reality is that the law continues to grant benefits and rights on the legally married it does not to unmarried couples. Fortunately, careful estate planning can accomplish what the law does not. It's not hard to get this right, but the gap … [Read more...] about Getting it Right for your Unmarried Partner: Key Estate Planning Strategies.
When the Estate Planning Attorneys at Clarity Legal Group work with clients to create an estate plan, we always begin with listening to the client's particular goals and concerns so we can tailor the plan to the unique needs of the client. We do a lot of planning built around Living Trusts. I am sometimes asked "do I need a Living Trust?" I think better questions are "how can I accomplish my goals through a Living Trust" and "how does planning around a Trust accomplish those goals better or … [Read more...] about Trust Administration Explained
You have worked hard to build you savings and wealth. Having a comfortable financial cushion is an important way to protect those you love. But what about after you're gone? It is challenging and can be quite expensive for you to protect your assets during your life so that you can use them but that your creditors cannot reach them. At Clarity Legal Group® we do asset protection planning for our clients. When I review the pros and cons of putting this asset protection in place for a client … [Read more...] about Using an Asset Protection Trust as part of your Estate Plan?
Little in life is as simple as we hope or imagine. Having spent most of my legal career working in the estate planning field, I am still surprised by the little ways that a failure to plan can defeat the language in a legal document. Some people have legal documents, but no plan. This makes it all the more likely that the document will not do what it says. At lot of us become more aware of the need to have an estate plan when we become a parent. We want things to be simple even when we … [Read more...] about How Can I Use a Trust to Protect My Minor Child’s Inheritance?
The trust administration process is a preferred way of transferring wealth after a death occurs. One of the many valuable features of planning with a Living Trust is the privacy made possible through this planning technique. This privacy is available only if you have organized the management of your affairs through a trust before your death. Furthermore, the privacy is only assured if you use the Trust Agreement as a vehicle for avoiding the court process known as probate, which requires both … [Read more...] about Trust Administration is a More Private Way to Transfer Wealth
What Is A Special Needs Trust? from Mark Costley The trustee can use the assets in the trust to provide for the supplemental needs of the beneficiary. These would be needs that the government benefits do not cover. Learn more about North Carolina special needs trust in this presentation. … [Read more...] about What Is A Special Needs Trust?
What Is A Living Trust? from Mark Costley You have options when you are deciding how you want your assets to be transferred after you die. A last will is one of your options, but there are others that you should certainly explore. One of them is a living trust. Learn more about living trust in this presentation. … [Read more...] about What Is A Living Trust?
Lifetime and Annual Gift Tax Exclusions Historical Overview: Congress and the Wilson administration established the original federal estate tax in 1916. However, the lack of an annual gift tax limitation provided a large unintended loophole for individuals to distribute inheritances prior to their death and avoid the estate tax. The federal annual gift tax exclusion was first enacted in 1924, repealed in 1926, reenacted in 1932 and has remained in force since that time. Congress and the Reagan … [Read more...] about 2015 Lifetime and Annual Gift Tax Exclusion Increases