What Does It Mean To Break A Trust?

When you create a revocable trust, it’s usually because you want some level of control and flexibility over the operation of that trust. As a result, you may be able to dissolve the trust at some point in time. If you no longer need or want the trust, you can choose to revoke it or change the stipulations inside so long as it’s a revocable

Breaking a trust refers to the process of dissolving a trust that has been established for estate planning purposes. This can also refer to one party distributing its assets and dissolving the trust, either to the trust beneficiaries or back to the original donor. This can only happen at the discretion of the creator of the trust. A trust fund is one way for managing assets held on behalf of someone else or yourself. When you create a trust and find those assets into the trust, you also set terms for how the trust assets will be distributed.

Breaking or dissolving a trust is only possible with a revocable trust, which by its very nature can be changed or revoked over any period of time. An irrevocable trust, however, must be established and maintained over the course of the creator’s lifetime. The main benefit of an irrevocable trust is that because the assets truly do not belong to the person who has created it, it may be protected from creditors more than a revocable trust.

There are many different kinds of trusts you can use for estate planning in New Hampshire. If you’re interested in using these or other estate planning strategies to accomplish your goals, set aside a time to meet with a qualified attorney.



Does My Trust Automatically Avoid Taxes?

Many people fall for the estate planning myth that establishing a trust avoids taxes. This is not normally true and in certain situations may actually increase taxes. It is very important to work with a local estate planning professional to handle all aspects of your estate plan creation.

There are two different types of taxes that might apply to assets you place inside a trust or your state overall. These are the income tax and the estate tax. The person who creates the trust typically pays for income tax on any revocable living trust. This means that there is no difference between that person’s individual taxes and the trust’s taxes.

Until a trust becomes irrevocable, these rules apply. In an irrevocable trust, which is one that cannot be amended or revoked, income held at the trust is taxed at rates that are typically close to the highest individual tax rates.

For very wealthy people, however, additional estate taxes may apply. Even if your trust does not avoid taxes, there are still other benefits to using this estate planning tool. For example, although you can transfer your assets through your will after you pass away, a trust gives more of a shield of protection since your asset transfer is not part of any public record. When this transfer happens through probate, though, it is a matter of public record and other people may be able to search for it and see it. You also get more control over when and how your assets transfer when you use a trust.

If you have other questions related to the estate planning process and need support and determining how to move forward, contact an estate planning lawyer today.

estate planning

Does a Home Belong in a Trust for Estate Planning Purposes?

Planning ahead for real property is important but also specific to the considerations of the person creating the estate plan. Determining the most effective and tax efficient way to transfer a piece of real property requires answering important questions, such as what you hope to happen to the future of the property, who may be responsible enough to take it over and what they intend to do with it, and possible financial considerations based on the property’s planning

If you have a residence you hope to pass on to loved ones after your death, you may be concerned about the additional expense and time for the home going into the probate process. Placing your home inside a trust is one way to remove it from going through traditional probate. You can place property inside a trust to increase the chances that the outcome that you want to happen is followed. This can be either an irrevocable or a revocable trust.

If the trust is revocable, you gain the benefit of flexibility since you can change the terms of the trust up until the point that you pass away. However, only an irrevocable trust carries benefits such as protecting the assets from creditors if you were to be sued.

The three most common reasons to place a home inside of a trust for estate planning include privacy, simplicity, and avoiding probate. If these are important to you set up a time to meet with an estate planning attorney to discuss them. Meet now with a lawyer from our New Hampshire and Maine estate planning offices to determine if a trust or other avenue is best for your future home planning.




Five Documents Possibly Needed For Your Estate Plan

An estate plan can be as simple as just a will, but it can also include many other documents and strategies designed to help you reach your individual goals. Working with a knowledgeable estate planning attorney is extremely important for identifying what does and doesn’t belong in your estate

Furthermore, having an established relationship with an estate planning lawyer makes it easier to reach out, should you decide that additional documents are needed. Leaving out even one tool could significantly impact your transfer plans and your beneficiaries in the future, not to mention even your future plans for yourself in the event that you were to become incapacitated.

Here are five documents you should research, contemplate and discuss with your estate planning lawyer to identify whether or not they belong as part of your strategy. They are:

  • A living trust that reserves assets for your beneficiaries to avoid expenses and delays with court in probate.
  • A healthcare power of attorney to appoint an individual to make medical decisions on your behalf if you’re unable to do so.
  • A last will and testament to name a guardian for your minor children and determine what happens to your property.
  • A living will that names someone else to make your healthcare wishes known if you can’t communicate them.
  • A financial power of attorney to handle financial decisions and actions if you’re unable to do so.

Estate planning is for everyone regardless of the perceived size of your estate. Communicating with a knowledgeable estate planning lawyer in your area is the first step towards identifying the tools, documents and strategies in line with your personal goals and future intentions.



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.


irrevocable trusts

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.

will, trust

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.