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Exceptions to an incentive trust

An incentive trust is, in many ways, quite a simple idea. You want to give your heirs an incentive to live a certain way, so you put their inheritance in a trust and they only get it if they follow the rules you set. For most parents and grandparents, they just want the heirs to have a productive life with gainful employment, rather than living off of the money. The incentive, then, can be that they only get the money if they're employed or that the trust pays out the same amount that they earn every year, giving them incentive to work harder and move forward in their career.

How are living trusts different than other trusts?

The term "living" in a living trust means that the trust is created while the grantor -- or trust creator -- is alive. In the case of many living trusts, the grantor can change or alter the trust and remain in control of the assets within the trust while he or she is still alive. The grantor can do this by making him or herself the trustee.

'Express trusts: How do they work?

An "express trust" is a convenient way to incorporate a trust into your last will and testament. This kind of trust, also known as a "testamentary trust," goes into effect at the time of your death. It does not affect your finances while you're still alive.

Charitable remainder trusts can help a worthy cause

Do you have a house, investment or some other kind of property that has increased significantly in value? Do you want to liquidate this property and reinvest the money to start generating an income from it, but you don't want to pay the tremendous capital gains taxes? You're facing a fairly common dilemma -- but a charitable remainder trust might allow you to accomplish all of those goals.

Protect your heirs from themselves with a spendthrift trust

Imagine you don't have any children who can inherit your estate, except you do have a niece who happens to have a serious spending problem. As soon as she has any amount of money in her hands, she spends it on something irresponsible. Considering that this is your only heir, it's understandable that you're concerned. Fortunately, you and your niece might benefit from a "spendthrift" trust.

Using lottery trusts to protect your interests

While most people think of good luck as finding a good parking spot at the store or avoiding an accident on the freeway, some people find their lives turned upside down by good luck when they win the lottery or come into some other sort of windfall of good fortune. Of course, with every stroke of luck, there is always the possibility that the blessing can become troublesome and cause more problems than it alleviates. For those who find themselves suddenly on the receiving end of lottery winnings, it is wise to consider a lottery trust.

Charitable remainder trusts can provide annuity income

Establishing a charitable trust is an excellent way to preserve important resources and support causes that you value, allowing you to still benefit financially. If these trusts are properly constructed and thoughtfully planned, they may serve as a strong component of any estate plan. They can help you establish a legacy that may last long after you are gone, helping to tell your story and furthering the issues that you care about deeply.

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