Using Trusts As An Estate Planning Tool
Beyond a will to declare your heirs, the use of trusts can help you accomplish specific estate planning goals. You may want to protect family assets from creditors and taxes, or provide for minor children or a dependent adult. Perhaps you want to leave a legacy or put stipulations on inheritance.
Lewis Law Office, P.C. can help you establish different types of trusts for different purposes. Attorney Bill Lewis has over 40 years of experience in estate planning. To explore how trusts can work for you, call us at 816-875-4516 or 877-549-3511 to set up an appointment.
What Is a Trust?
A trust is a financial entity that sets aside some or all of your assets from your estate. You choose who the trust will benefit and under what terms. One of the main benefits of trusts is that — if properly drafted and funded — they avoid the whole probate process. Upon death, those trust assets transfer directly to the beneficiary without going through the probate court.
These are some of the types of trusts we commonly create for clients:
Children’s trusts — If you are a parent, you can prepare for an unfortunate circumstance, such as your death or incapacity, by setting up a trust for your child to pay for expected needs including food, shelter and education.
Health care trusts — You can set up a trust for yourself or a spouse to provide for any expected needs, including long-term medical care, if one of you dies or is incapacitated.
Special-needs trusts/supplemental needs trusts — Such trusts can be created to provide financial benefits to a disabled person, often without disqualifying them from Medicaid and Social Security benefits.
“Living trusts” — These financial vehicles are sometimes confused with a “living will.” (The term “living will” is a misnomer. The appropriate legal term is “health care directive with a power of attorney for health care.”) Living trusts exist solely to shelter a person’s assets by circumventing both incapacity or death probate proceedings, avoiding or limiting tax payments and/or establishing the long-term management of a property, and the distribution of trust assets at death. A revocable living trust allows you to control the assets or change the terms while you are living. Then, upon death, the assets transfer to your designated beneficiaries.
Avoid Probate • Maximize Tax Protection • Preserve Family Harmony
For more information on how our estate planning lawyer can help you customize your estate plan through the use of one or more trusts, contact our law office in Lee’s Summit. We can arrange evening or weekend appointments on request, including off-site if you are not able to travel to our office.