When you set up a trust as part of your estate plan, you face the very important task of appointing a trustee to oversee the trust and the assets within. However, in some cases, your relationship with a trustee may sour, or you may realize that he or she is not behaving in your best interests, or the best interests of your beneficiaries.
As you look around and consider various estate planning options, you soon realize that there are indeed many, many different trusts and other estate planning tools available. One particular product that often gets overlooked or lumped in with other similar options is an asset protection trust. In most cases, choosing a wise estate planning strategy is most effective with the assistance of an experienced estate planning attorney, but it is always wise to do your own homework before meeting with a legal professional.
Sometimes, protecting your estate means giving your beneficiaries some time to grow into the gifts you wish to leave them. A testamentary trust is one of the ways to ensure that your estate is not squandered by beneficiaries too young or immature to appreciate the gravity of the situation. Testamentary trusts are established in a will and then created upon the death of the testator, or will creator.
If you have a furry friend who depends on you, or one with feathers or scales for that matter, you may worry about how your pet will continue to receive what they need after you are gone. Many pet owners inaccurately believe that writing provisions for a pet into their will is enough to guarantee their ongoing care, but this is not always true. If you need to make sure that your pet truly has what it needs after you are gone, you may want to consider a pet trust.
Estate planning is a complicated matter, and becomes more complicated as a person's assets become more complex. In many cases, some types of assets may prove far less valuable than they seem at first if a person does not take proper precautions to protect them against the drains of taxation after they die. Few assets are as vulnerable to this type of asset deflation as life insurance policies.
Family trusts can certainly be an excellent tool, but they can also be a big headache if not conceived properly or if human factors become overwhelming. If you are building an estate plan, it's important to understand how even the best-laid plans can turn sour.
Creating a trust is intended, among other things, to secure one's assets and beneficiaries against the unexpected. However, even trusts depend on humans to function, and a trustee who no longer wishes to serve may create an unexpected wrinkle in an estate plan. It is wise to make sure that any trust you establish or serve has defined terms for how a trustee may resign, to avoid unnecessary complications if this occurs. In California, a trustee retains the right to resign, but must first meet some requirements.
Often, as people grow older and pursue opportunities and interests, they move from one state to another. Of course, any time you move states, you suddenly must contend with a whole host of issues you might not expect — different taxation and different laws that govern everything from DUI penalties to building codes. But, does moving states affect your estate planning if you created a trust in one state and relocate to another?
Estate planning is a complicated endeavor, with many nuanced financial products available to meet a variety of needs in the marketplace.Trusts are some of the most interesting and complex tools available for estate planning, each with their own function and special rules, allowing them to use the law to your advantage when created properly and used wisely. While many estate plans focus on protecting assets from the probate process after a person passes away, an asset protection trust has a slightly different function.
As the new administration continues its tour of shaking up every corner of the country's establishments, the estate planning industry has been holding its breath, waiting to see what new laws may be passed soon that could have huge impacts on estate plans throughout the country. Many estate planners are concerned, and rightly so, that the administration's desire to repeal the estate tax may render years of hard work useless overnight. While it is certainly true that a drastic change in the law could have large effects on the industry, this is no reason to put off important estate planning completely.