Articles :: Elder Law

Trust Planning Completes Your Estate Portfolio

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Wills and powers of attorney make up a simple estate plan. When your needs and wishes require more detailed instructions, adding a trust to your plan allows you to specifically direct where your assets go and how those assets can be used when you pass away. A properly funded trust keeps your wishes private, not a part of public court proceedings, and is more difficult to contest than a will only.

There are many different types of trusts, each with specific purposes. Any trust can be tailored to meet your specific needs and wishes for your loved ones.

A Revocable Living Trust can be modified or revoked by the creator. Trust assets go directly to beneficiaries, not through your will. One key benefit is planning for estate tax concerns and establishing protections to keep assets in your family. 

An Irrevocable Trust cannot be changed or modified and is managed by a trustee, who is responsible for carrying out the wishes of the creator of the trust and managing assets in the best interest of beneficiaries. These are frequently created as part of a plan for helping a person pay for their long-term care, especially in a nursing home. 

Heritage or Dynasty Trusts allow for assets to remain within your family, passing from one generation to the next. This type of trust can keep assets within families even if your children or grandchildren divorce and allow for protection from creditors. 

A Special Needs Trust can be a valuable tool when a loved one has a disability or needs finances protected from receiving an inheritance all at once, allowing for continued access to public or government benefits and services.

Charitable Trusts leave a legacy to a charity based on your interests or religious beliefs. Assets can be given before or after other beneficiaries, in a fixed amount or a percentage of all assets. This type of trust planning comes with tax benefits, both immediate and in the future.

Editor’s Note: This article was submitted by Andrew P. Stone, Esq.
Andrew is the principle attorney with Stone Law, LLC and may be reached at 877-897-6591 or by email at

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