You don’t have to be exceptionally wealthy or have a portfolio chock full of assets to incorporate a trust into your estate planning. A trust isn’t a fancy legal situation only for top tier earners. It’s a fiduciary agreement that allows an individual to assign the administration of their estate to a trustee who works on behalf of the family and beneficiaries to ensure the agreement remains intact and followed. In short, it’s your best bet for asset protection and to protect your loved ones. Here are the other benefits of trusts.
A will details a person’s wishes after their death, including who gets what regarding money, belongings, and even assets. However, a will must go through the probate process, which can take months as it works through the probate court system. A trust does not need to go through probate because it’s a private legal contract. This allows for expeditious distribution of assets.
An irrevocable trust has tax advantages for your beneficiaries. Any inheritance within a certain range is subject to a gift tax. However, most inheritance from an irrevocable trust is not, which can save your loved ones thousands of dollars, allowing them to keep what you left for them.
A trust allows you to customize when and how your family inherit money and assets from your estate when you’re gone. Things like reaching a certain age, what the beneficiaries can use the money for, the amount distributed and when, and limited or timed distribution. For example, these parameters can include reaching 18 years old, only using the money for college tuition, and only distributing the wealth in small increments annually.
For the best asset protection and to protect your loved ones, don’t wait until it’s too late! Contact McCutchen McLean, LLC, to schedule your consultation to start planning your trust.
Estate planning might be more emotional and personal than many other legal agreements, but the contracts are just as critical. Here are three things to look for during the contract review stage of any contract, including estate planning.
#1: Check the Dates and Deadlines
Check and double-check any dates and deadlines listed in the contract. While contracts are sometimes open for revision, estate planning has a unique situation where many, if not all, the elements remain unexecuted until after you or your loved one’s death. So, make sure the dates and deadlines are accurate now.
#2: Terms and Key Clauses
Whether the estate plan is for you or a loved one and whether it’s a simple decree of one’s wishes or a comprehensive plan for distributing wealth and assets, ensure a review of each term and key clause. Spend the time you need to ensure they’re all accurate and reflect your desires for your estate.
#3: Clear Language
Can anyone read the contract and understand the basics of what it’s laying out? If the language is unclear or ambiguous, it could open the contract to interpretation or potential legal conflict. Clear, concise language enables accurate interpretation and execution of your or your loved one’s wishes without needing a third party or mediation to determine the next steps.
Contracts, by nature, are complex and often overwhelming documents, but careful review and consideration are a necessity. When working on estate planning, the last thing you want or need is more stress. For contract review help you can count on, contact the experienced legal team at McCutchen McLean LLC.
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