Trusts Can Satisfy Many Different Objectives

The importance of trusts in estate planning is seen in their ability to minimize estate taxes and hopefully avoid probate.  A trust is basically a fiduciary agreement, one based on trust and confidence, between the person making the trust (grantor) and the trustee.  This agreement gives the trustee the authority to manage the assets of the trust and distribute those assets to the beneficiaries as specified in the trust agreement.  There are several different types of trusts with their own objectives.  Here is what you need to know. The primary benefits of a trust Trusts, like wills, are used to control your assets, including when and to whom your assets are distributed.  A trust can also provide protection in situations where your beneficiary may not be as skilled at managing their own money.  Having a trust can also mean that your estate will not need to go through the lengthy, public, and expensive probate process. Revocable trusts and their benefits All trusts are categorized


Five Estate Planning Issues Everyone Should Consider

There are some estate planning objectives that are rather self-evident. Clearly, you want to make sure that your assets get into the hands of your loved ones after you pass away, but there are many different ways to go about it. You should educate yourself and act in an informed manner when you are making estate planning decisions. With this in mind, we will look at five estate planning issues that everyone should consider in this blog post. Taxation There is a federal estate tax that can significantly impact your ability to provide opportunities for your loved ones. You can transfer unlimited assets to your spouse tax-free, but transfers to others are potentially taxable. This year, the federal estate tax exclusion is $5.43 million. The exclusion is the amount that you can transfer before the estate tax would be applicable. You should inventory the value of your estate so that you can determine whether or not you are exposed to the estate tax. If you are, there are strategies that ca