As noted in prior posts, estate planning is not only for the wealthy. Anyone who is married, has children, or has any assets, should have at least some basic estate planning in place. We also strongly recommend a Revocable Living Trust for many of our clients. This is an overview of four of the best reasons to have a Trust in place.
- Avoid a Windfall to your Children or Grandchildren. Regardless of how responsible and smart your children are, you cannot predict how someone will react when they inherit or otherwise accrue rights in a large sum of money at a relatively young age. In a Trust, we can help you stagger the distributions to your children and grandchildren, thereby protecting them and your estate from irresponsible spending, unscrupulous investments, or other poor decision-making. We can work with you to name a trustee who will oversee how and when to make distributions, in accordance with your wishes.
- Protect from future divorce. I am sure you like your sons’ and daughters’ girlfriends and boyfriends, and/or your sons and daughters-in-law, but I am equally sure you don’t want to give them half of your assets. Although a Revocable Living Trust is not a creditor protection trust, we can include language to limit the effect of divorce and increase the likelihood that your assets will stay in your bloodline.
- Tax Planning. Most states have an estate tax exemption. Incorporating a bypass or credit shelter Trust into your estate plan will ensure you receive the maximum benefit of the available exemption without restricting your ability to enjoy all of the family assets. By way of example only, under the current taxing scheme in CT, one trust could result in a savings of more than $100K to your estate, and potentially more, if and as your estate and business valuations continue to grow.
- Probate Avoidance. A Trust helps you avoid the time, cost, and publicity of probate. You want your assets to go to your children and other beneficiaries, not towards probate court fees and legal bills. Trusts help you significantly decrease – and sometimes avoid – the time and cost necessary to get through the state-mandated probate process.
For assistance with any legal needs related to your business or estate planning, contact Fournier Legal Services for a consultation at firstname.lastname@example.org or 860.670.3535.
Joseph E. Fournier is an Attorney and a CPA who has more than twenty years of experience in a variety of business legal matters, including start-ups and company formations, drafting shareholder and operating agreements, contracts, employment law, commercial litigation, tax planning and audit defense, and mergers and acquisitions (M&A). He also handles estate planning matters, such as business succession planning, wills, trusts, and probate.