8 Ways To Benefit From A Trust



A trust is a legal agreement that allows one party (the grantor) to
give another party (the trustee) the right to hold assets for the
benefit of a third party (the beneficiary). Trusts can take various
forms and help achieve many goals, depending on the needs and objectives
of the grantor. Various types of assets can be held in trust, including
(but not limited to) real estate, securities, life insurance, business
interests and cash. An attorney formalizes the details in a trust
document, which guides the trustee in managing the assets based on the
grantor’s wishes.

Questions to Ask

Though they have long been used as estate planning
tools for high-net-worth individuals, trusts can also be helpful for
families of all sizes and incomes. Answer these questions to see if a
trust might be helpful for you.
  1. Do you have young children? If something were to
    happen to both parents, a trust and designated trustee can provide the
    financial framework to protect, manage and grow the family’s estate
    assets until the children reach maturity.
  2. Are you caring for someone with special needs? A
    carefully drafted special-needs trust may provide for them and
    supplement the assistance provided by federal and state programs, such
    as Social Security Disability, without putting those entitlements at
  3. Would business interests be part of your estate?
    An irrevocable life insurance trust can hold a life insurance policy
    with a death benefit to provide liquidity for estate taxes, allowing the
    business to continue operating under the control of a future
  4. Do you have complex family dynamics? Trusts can
    offer more control than a will for disbursing assets in the case of
    divorced individuals, blended families, strained parent/child
    relationships or other special circumstances.
  5. Do you anticipate estate tax issues? People with estates larger than the federal estate tax exemption (for the current exemption visit irs.gov) may use a properly structured trust to postpone, reduce or eliminate estate taxes.
  6. Are you comfortable having your estate details on the public record?
    A trust keeps your financial information private and permits you to
    transfer your estate as you intend, while limiting the time, expense and
    public nature of the probate process.
  7. Would you want to provide specific support for your spouse, children and grandchildren?
    A trust allows you to control how your assets are distributed after
    your death, and provide for successor beneficiaries such as a spouse,
    children, grandchildren or others you designate.
  8. Do you want to leave a legacy to charitable causes? Charitable trusts allow you to make donations to charitable causes and receive estate and income tax benefits.
Using a trust offers you many different options both during your
lifetime and after your death. A financial advisor can put you in touch
with a range of resources to help you decide the approach that is best
for you, including providing guidance on estate planning and choosing a

Source: Forbes.com