Despite its name, the purpose of a spendthrift trust isn’t just to protect profligate heirs from themselves. Even the most financially responsible heirs can be exposed to frivolous lawsuits or unscrupulous creditors. A properly designed spendthrift trust can safeguard assets against such attacks. A variety of trusts can include this protection. It’s just a matter […]

If your estate plan includes a revocable trust (also known as a “living” trust), it’s critical to ensure that the trust is properly funded. Revocable trusts offer significant benefits, including probate avoidance. But these benefits aren’t available if you don’t fund the trust. Funding a living trust is a simple matter of transferring ownership of […]

A dynasty trust can protect your wealth from gift, estate and generation-skipping transfer (GST) taxes and help you leave a lasting legacy. Contributions to the trust are considered taxable gifts, but you can minimize taxes by applying your gift and GST tax exemptions. Trust assets can grow and compound indefinitely. The trust makes distributions to […]

If your estate plan includes a revocable trust (also known as a “living trust”), it’s critical to ensure that the trust is properly funded. Revocable trusts offer significant benefits, including asset management (in the event you become incapacitated) and probate avoidance. But these benefits aren’t available if you don’t fund the trust. To do so, […]

Are income taxes taking a bite out of your trusts? For trusts, the income threshold is very low for triggering the top income tax rate of 39.6%, top long-term capital gains rate of 20% and the 3.8% net investment income tax. The threshold is only $12,500 in 2017. But you can soften the blow by […]

A charitable lead trust (CLT) is most effective in a low-interest-rate environment, so conditions for taking advantage of a CLT now are favorable. A CLT provides a regular income stream to charities during the trust term, after which the remaining assets pass to noncharitable beneficiaries. A charitable lead annuity trust (CLAT) makes annual payments to […]

If you’re concerned about your family’s financial well-being after you’re gone, life insurance can provide peace of mind. Going a step further and setting up an irrevocable life insurance trust (ILIT) to hold the policy offers additional estate planning benefits. Asset protection If you’re concerned about your heirs’ money management skills, an ILIT may be […]

While it’s natural to set up trusts in the state where you live, you may be losing out on significant benefits available in more “trust-friendly” states. For example, some states: Don’t tax trust income, Authorize domestic asset protection trusts, which provide added protection against creditors’ claims, Permit silent trusts, under which beneficiaries need not be […]