Financial Protection For Your Family

A trust is an arrangement that, after your death or during your incapacity, allows a third party – called a trustee – to hold onto assets for beneficiaries. When establishing a trust, you can specify how and when your assets will be passed onto your beneficiaries.

At Legacy Law Centers, our Leesburg trust attorney has extensive experience and expertise helping clients establish and implement trusts that save their families time, money, and the stress of probate. Let us help you set up a trust that will effectively protect your assets and your family’s future.

Some of the many benefits of trusts include:

  • Avoid probate: Trusts can generally prevent your family from going through probate, allowing them to gain access to your assets more quickly and without paying court fees.
  • Flexible control of your assets: You have the power to determine when and how your assets will be passed on. Revocable trusts also grant you access to assets during your lifetime.
  • Protection: Maybe your beneficiary is not the best at managing money, or maybe your heirs have creditors hounding them for debts owed. Either way, a trust will protect your assets from these situations.
  • Privacy: By avoiding probate, you are also avoiding a publicized court case and public record.

At Legacy Law Centers, our Leesburg trusts attorney has extensive experience helping clients establish and implement trusts that save their families time, money, and the stress of probate. Let us help you set up a trust that will effectively protect your assets and your family’s future.

Contact us online or call (571) 260-0827 to get started.

What Are The Key Differences Between A Revocable Trust And An Irrevocable Trust?

The key differences between a revocable trust and an irrevocable trust are as follows:

  • Control: In a revocable trust, the grantor (the person who creates the trust) retains control over the assets placed in the trust. They have the power to amend, modify, or revoke the trust at any time. On the other hand, in an irrevocable trust, once the trust is established, the grantor typically relinquishes control and cannot make changes without the consent of the beneficiaries or court approval.
  • Asset Ownership: In a revocable trust, the grantor still technically owns the assets placed in the trust. They can continue to use, manage, and benefit from the assets during their lifetime. In contrast, with an irrevocable trust, the assets are considered separate from the grantor's estate and are no longer owned by them. Once transferred into the trust, the grantor typically has no direct access to or control over the assets.
  • Probate Avoidance: Both revocable and irrevocable trusts can help avoid probate, but in different ways. Assets held in a revocable trust can pass directly to beneficiaries without going through probate, saving time and potential costs. However, assets transferred into an irrevocable trust are effectively removed from the grantor's estate, completely bypassing probate.
  • Tax Implications: Revocable trusts do not provide any immediate tax benefits because the grantor retains ownership and control over the assets. The trust's income is typically taxed as part of the grantor's personal income. In contrast, irrevocable trusts may offer potential tax advantages, such as reducing estate taxes or protecting assets from creditor claims.
  • Medicaid Eligibility: An irrevocable trust can be used as a strategy for Medicaid planning. By transferring assets into an irrevocable trust, the grantor may be able to meet Medicaid eligibility requirements, as those assets are no longer considered part of their estate. Revocable trusts, however, do not offer this benefit.

Revocable Living Trusts

A revocable living trust, or revocable inter vivos trust, is an agreement between the person creating the trust, or Trustor, and the person managing the trust's assets, or Trustee. These trusts are "revocable," meaning you can change them over time, and they are "living," meaning they are created while you are alive.

The terms of a revocable living trust provide directions regarding your intentions for the future. When it is created, you act as both trustee and beneficiary while you are alive. Significantly, parts of a revocable living trust may be modified during your lifetime through amendments. A completely revised trust is accomplished through a “restatement.”

A revocable living trust is a convenient, flexible, and protective tool commonly used in estate planning. When you fund a revocable living trust, you can add or subtract assets as you like, change the terms of the trust, and dissolve the trust altogether during your lifetime. You don’t even need to file a separate tax return – the process is quite simple.

Family Bank Trusts

Families with a high net-worth and individuals in high-risk professions such as real estate developers, business owners, doctors, and lawyers can often benefit from a family bank trust (FBT). An FBT offers both asset protection and access.

When a person creates a family bank trust and transfers assets into it, beneficiaries – including a spouse and/or children – have access to the funds. The grantor spouse – the one who created and funded the trust – pays the income taxes on the funds, which provides an additional non-taxable gift.

Benefits of a family bank trust include:

  • Beneficiaries’ creditors do not have access to the funds
  • Your own creditors cannot seize the funds
  • There are no federal estate taxes on assets transferred into the trust and paid in income taxes on trust funds

Grandchildren’s Trusts

Rather than superfunding UTMA and UGMA, consider funding grandchildren’s trusts. By using a grandchildren’s trust, you can create a legacy for your grandchildren and prevent them from misusing funds at a young age.

Your grandchildren will benefit from this kind of trust because:

  • Your assets can’t be seized in a lawsuit, car accident, medical crisis, bankruptcy, divorce, business failure, or other similar event
  • Your assets are protected from estate taxes
  • The trust can be dissolved if assets get spent down to pay for education, the formation of a business, or whatever you instruct

Are you interested in establishing a trust for the beloved children or grandchildren in your life? The Leesburg estate planning attorney at Legacy Law Centers can discuss your options and help you decide what kind of trust might be right for you and your family. We serve clients throughout Loudoun County and look forward to helping you protect your family’s future with a trust.

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