Using Both a Will and a Trust in Your Estate: When it Makes Sense

It is a common misconception that you only need a will or a trust for estate planning purposes. Only by working with an estate planning attorney can you understand how both of these tools can help you accomplish estate planning goals and when it is most appropriate to have

If you already have a trust, it’s a common myth that you don’t also need a will. In a perfect world having your trust may be sufficient if you don’t have any minor children, but without a will you have no ability to name a guardian for your minor children. Furthermore, a trust is only effective when it is created and funded properly.

Simply establishing the trust itself does not fund it. You must transfer assets from your individual ownership name into the ownership of the trust so that it can be accurately said that the trust controls those assets’ dispositions. Sometimes the timing may lapse or you forget to transfer assets, which means that your trust is not accomplishing individual goals.

This means that if you fail to retitle the property into the trust, the trust cannot dictate the distribution of that asset. This means your asset may instead go through probate, and if you don’t have a will, the state determines what happens to that asset based on intestate succession rules.

This may not be in line with what you intended for your own estate planning purposes. It’s far better to sit down with an experienced estate planning attorney to discuss many of your concerns around the estate planning process and to decide on your next steps.



Two Important Questions to Consider When Creating a Trust

A trust is one of the most valuable and increasingly popular estate planning tools to use a trust appropriately. It is recommended that you work with a qualified estate planning lawyer to ensure that the trust is legal, properly funded and aligned with your estate planning goals. Two primary questions will guide much of your conversation with your estate planning attorney. The first of these is who will serve as the trustee as the creator of the

You will choose the corporate entity or individual who manages the trust assets and is responsible for carrying out the purpose of the trust. Most people default to choosing a loved one, but this person may not have the experience or knowledge to manage trustee responsibilities. You could also elect a professional fiduciary such as a trust company or a bank. Remember that they will often have account minimums and charge for the services they render.

The second important question to consider as you create a trust with your estate planning lawyer is when are distributions made As the grantor, you have significant control over how assets will be distributed to the beneficiaries you name. Many people turn to common messes such as allowing distributions at particular ages or when someone has achieved a particular milestone.

Remember that it will again fall to the responsibility of the appointed trustee to make these distributions. This should be someone that you are familiar with and someone who you are comfortable with. Handle these responsibilities fairly. Make sure that you contact a qualified and dedicated attorney as soon as possible to discuss your options. A knowledgeable attorney in NH can make a big difference in helping you to choose the right type of trust.



How Private is a Trust?

Have you put together a will for your estate plan? Depending on your personal goals and the kinds of assets you have, this may not be enough for estate planning purposes. Working with a New Hampshire estate planning lawyer is one way to add some privacy to your estate and to remove the bulk of your planning from the public eye in probate court.

One of the leading reasons for using a trust for estate planning or asset transfer purposes is to increase your level of privacy. When you pass along assets inside your will, this can quickly become a matter of public record. This is why it is very challenging for many people to accomplish all of their estate planning goals and keep them private with traditional methods alone.

Consulting with an experienced and knowledgeable estate planning lawyer may help you determine that a trust is an appropriate estate planning strategy. It is very important to identify an estate planning lawyer who is familiar with various kinds of trusts to help you through this process. When creating a trust, you may choose a nondescript name that makes it difficult for other people to identify that the trust belongs to you. You can name a professional trustee or an attorney in the in the trust.

There are many different types of options for administration of a trust too, and these alternatives can trigger various legal and tax consequences. Using an anonymous LLC is another way to help shield your identity from being disclosed as a member or as a manager. If privacy is one of the biggest concerns in your estate plan, share this with your estate planning attorney to discuss options for strategic planning in line with these needs.




What is a Quiet Trust?

Trusts are some of the most powerful and advanced estate planning tools used for leaving assets behind to your heirs while also having some level of control over their access to those assets. In some cases, you might inform your beneficiaries that you have created a trust for their benefit, but there are situations in which this does not work and in which a quiet trust created by an estate planning lawyer may be more helpful. trust

A quiet trust is one that has many similar components to other trusts, but there is little to no notice given to beneficiaries. A person called a grantor puts assets inside a trust managed by another individual known as the trustee. The trust document may determine how income will be transferred to beneficiaries. Many people use quiet trusts for their grandchildren or children because they do not want these heirs relying on these potential future resources and failing to pursue educational or career goals.

The purpose behind this is often to help those minor children develop good financial habits and create their own wealth. In other circumstances, you might choose to create a quiet trust as a way to get more privacy. A quiet trust ensures that only a minimal number of people know about the trust altogether, which can help prevent heirs from talking about how much they may get, being taken advantage of or misusing this information. If you intend to structure a quiet trust, make sure you work with a knowledgeable estate planning attorney to do so.

New Hampshire is one of a handful of states that allow a silent or quiet trust. If you’re thinking about setting one up, it’s best to do so with the guidance of an experienced and dedicated lawyer at your side.


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Should I Use A Revocable Or Irrevocable Trust?

There are many different trusts out there that can help you for estate planning purposes, but it is essential that you work with an estate planning lawyer to help you decide which strategy is right for you.irrevocable trusts

You may have heard of different kinds of trusts, such as a special needs trust, a grantor trust or a testamentary trust. All of these are either irrevocable or revocable. A revocable trust simply means that it can be terminated or changed at any point in time while the creator of the trust is still alive. This means that creator could terminate the trust completely, transfer different assets into the trust, remove assets already inside it, remove or add beneficiaries or change the terms of the trust regarding how assets should be distributed or managed.

Revocable trusts will automatically become irrevocable when the creator passes away. An irrevocable trust, however, does not allow changes or termination. If you create an irrevocable trust during your lifetime, any assets transferred into that trust must stay there and you cannot remove or add beneficiaries or change the terms of the trust.

Flexibility is a leading reason why many people choose to use revocable trusts, but revocable trusts do not provide the same kind of protection against creditors when compared with an irrevocable trust. To learn more about what might be most appropriate for your plans, contact an experienced and qualified estate planning lawyer today.

Our New Hampshire estate planning lawyers have helped many other residents to determine the best way to proceed with a trust. Contact us today for a personalized consultation about your needs.

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A Will Versus Trust: What To Know

Most people understand that a will is one of the most important types of estate planning documents. will, trust

At a simple level, it can accomplish several goals within your estate planning, such as naming a guardian for any minor children and determining what happens to your property. However, it may depend on whether or not you also need a trust in connection with your will. If your estate is under a certain amount, you might not need a trust, but you should always work directly with an estate planning attorney to discuss these options. You may choose to opt out of a trust if your assets could be passed on to your chosen beneficiaries through beneficiary designation or payable transfer on death designations.

A trust could be beneficial, however, if you own property in multiple different states. You may not be sure whether or not your situation arises to the level of needing both a trust and a will.

The truth is that estate planning is highly personalized and contextualized to your underlying needs and goals. This means you need to work with an outside professional, such as an estate planning attorney who has extensive experience in this field. An estate planning lawyer can help you list out all of your assets and liabilities and then drill down into what you hope to accomplish with your estate plan.

From this point forward, you can understand whether or not a will is sufficient to accomplish your baseline goals or whether you need to consider additional tools, such as a trust. You will leave your estate planning lawyer’s office with a greater perspective on what your estate plan should look like and the opportunities to adapt and revise that plan as needed over the course of your life.

Talk to our NH estate planning office for more help in outlining your comprehensive estate plan.


What To Consider Before Placing Assets in a Charitable Remainder Trust

Plenty of people intend to accomplish philanthropic goals through their estate and may consider irrevocable trust tools such as a charitable remainder trust, but it is important to be cautious about how you choose to use this. While it might be the right choice for your goals, you need to carefully balance your own financial needs alongside that, especially when using an irrevocable trust for estate planning purposes.charitable

Charitable remainder trusts are usually created while the grantor is still alive. Assets are then transferred into the irrevocable trust providing a tax deduction for the contribution as well as the added benefit of an income stream for life.

At the time the trust grantor passes away, the charity keeps any remaining assets. Be aware though that the irrevocable aspect of these trusts means you should carefully consider working with your financial professional, accountant, lawyer and someone from the charity before signing away your assets.

Even though you may not need these assets at this point in time, you could experience changes in your life, or beneficiaries who did not need support before suddenly require financial assistance. Placing assets into an irrevocable trust, especially a charitable remainder trust, makes those assets illiquid and inaccessible in the event of a sudden change in financial circumstances. There are many different options available to you when it comes to estate planning for charitable purposes.

Make sure you consult with an attorney who is familiar with this area of the law. A lawyer in Maine or NH can walk you through which tools make the most sense for your personal situation.



Should I Name a Trust as a Retirement Account Beneficiary?

When designating retirement account beneficiaries, it is important to think about your individual estate planning goals. There are disadvantages and advantages to naming a trust as a beneficiary of a retirement account. You can avoid probate, expenses and frustration when naming beneficiaries for qualified retirement plans as these assets pass outside of your probate estate.retirement

Naming a trust as a beneficiary of your retirement plan is most helpful if your beneficiaries cannot be trusted with a significant amount of money, currently have a disability for which they receive government benefits or if those beneficiaries are minors. However, the major disadvantage of naming a trust as a beneficiary is that the assets inside the retirement plan are subject to required minimum distribution payouts based entirely on the oldest beneficiary’s life expectancy. This is not as important if you only have one beneficiary on the trust but if there are multiple heirs with various ages, this can cause significant problems.

Naming individual beneficiaries, however, will allow each of those beneficiaries to take a required minimum distribution based on their individual life expectancy. For more information about estate planning for your IRA and other retirement accounts, set aside a time to speak with an experienced estate planning lawyer in NH.

Learn more about how to create and use trusts within your estate plan by setting up an initial consultation with our law office. We’ll learn more about you, your family, and any other special interests like a business. We’ll use that information to create a comprehensive estate plan for you.



Is It Time for A Trust?

If you are concerned about passing on assets to your family members and their ability to manage this appropriately, a trust could be the perfect estate planning tool. For those young adults with money management issues or if you have minors who you want to eventually receive the assets, a trust can be a great way to name them as a beneficiary of a particular asset and protect the way in which it is passed on to them. A trust is a formal estate planning tool that should be drafted by an experienced estate planning

A trust holds your assets on behalf of beneficiaries or a beneficiary and is a legal entity dictated by those documents made by the person who created it. If you go the right route to have this crafted by an estate planning attorney, those assets will go into the trust instead of directly to your heirs, which means they are only eligible to receive money based on the stipulations you have put inside the trust documents. The creation of a trust may vary in cost depending on the number of assets you wish to place inside and any other complexities.

You can determine which kind of trust would be appropriate as part of your Maine or New Hampshire estate planning or Maine estate planning after you sit down with a lawyer to discuss options.

Meeting with an estate planning lawyer can help you figure out whether a trust would complement your existing estate plan or whether another tool would be more appropriate. Having a consultation with a lawyer can get the ball rolling on these important conversations about planning ahead for your future.




Should You Ask an Attorney About Trusts?

Most people have the general understanding of the most basic of estate planning tools which is known as a will, but what about trusts? Trusts and wills can work independently of one another but can also work very well together. This is only possible when you have a knowledgeable estate planning lawyer to craft your trust or your will and help explain to you how this can impact your future.trusts

A trust adds a layer of privacy and control that is not available with wills. This is why many people choose to also invest in the creation of a trust. Trusts come in many different forms but the two most important and frequently used versions are revocable and irrevocable trusts. A revocable trust is created for your benefit during your lifetime with the possibility of passing assets to loved ones after you pass away, at which point a successor trustee is named.

An irrevocable trust, you cannot make changes to or dissolve the trust once it has been created but provides more liability and creditor protection because the trust really owns the assets and a trustee manages them, not you. A trust can make an excellent supplement to your existing estate plan or could work independently of your will. To learn more about how this could work for you, schedule a consultation with an attorney.