Securing Your Legacy with Our Cary Trust Attorneys
If you’ve spent your life earning your wealth and acquiring assets, you don’t want all your hard work to be for nothing. When you work with one of our Cary trust attorneys, you can define how you want your life’s work to continue to benefit the people you love and the causes you care about after you are gone. Trusts may be among the most misunderstood estate planning tools with many people failing to realize how flexible and effective a trust can be.
Many different challenges can be addressed using a trust, including providing for a special needs child, or ensuring you are eligible for Medicaid should you need long-term care. Trusts allow families to solve their financial issues, transferring assets and wealth to help ensure a legacy. The “grantor” of a trust is the person who makes the trust and transfers assets into the trust. The “trustee” is the person who administers the trust and is often the grantor upon the creation of the trust.
A successor trustee is the person who will take over once the trustee is incapacitated or dies. The successor trustee will administer the trust, making distributions to the beneficiaries. “Beneficiaries” of the trust are those who will receive assets or money from your trust. Raleigh trust attorneys from NC Planning can help you determine how a trust can help you and your family then will help you carry out your goals.
What Do Trust Attorneys Do?
A trust attorney will help you choose the right trust or trusts, then will prepare trust documents on your behalf. Trust attorneys can also administer the trust following the death of the grantor. Your trust attorney will do the following:
- A plan will be made, based on your specific needs and financial circumstances.
- Documents will be prepared that protect your assets against lawsuits, taxes, or incapacitation.
- When necessary, trust documents will be updated by your trust attorney, according to changes in your circumstances.
- The trust attorney can provide trust administration assistance following your death or incapacitation.
What Are the Benefits of Having a Trust?
There are many benefits associated with trusts. Some of these benefits include:
- A trust is private while a will is not. During probate, the contents of a will are public. The contents of a trust remain private.
- Trusts do not require probate, which can be costly and take a significant amount of time.
- As an independent entity, an irrevocable trust may provide protections from creditor claims—your own, and those of your beneficiaries.
- When assets are placed into an irrevocable trust, they may not be counted as a part of your taxable estate. This can reduce your future tax liabilities.
- Certain types of trusts can offer flexible charitable-giving options.
- A trust is less likely to be challenged than a will.
- A trust can allow a successor trustee chosen by you to step in and handle your affairs in the event of incapacitation.
- Asset distribution following your death can be much simpler with a trust than with a will.
A trust allows you to build, protect, secure, and pass along your legacy as a valuable tool for ensuring continuity while achieving the financial objectives you choose.
What Are the Benefits of Having a Trust Attorney?
Your trust attorney can offer many benefits to you and your loved ones, including the following:
- Coordinate financial picture for probate avoidance and tax minimization
- You can rest easy knowing your most important documents are always up-to-date, years after your trust is prepared. Life changes such as marriage, divorce, a death or birth, inheritances, major purchases, starting or selling a business, or retirement plans can all necessitate changes in your trust and in your estate plan.
- Having trusted Cary trust attorneys from NC Planning ensures legal compliance with all probate and trust laws. These laws can be complex and may be constantly evolving. Although DIY options abound, there is a significant margin for error when you prepare your own trust documents.
- Your trust attorney will ensure your trust documents accurately reflect your wishes through fully customized documents tailored specifically to your needs.
- After your passing or incapacitation, your trust attorney can become a trusted resource for your loved ones during a difficult time.
What Are Common Issues Associated with Trusts?
Small oversights can have huge implications on the validity of your trust—which is why you always want a highly experienced trust issue handling your estate planning needs. Issues that can plague those who do not have a knowledgeable trust attorney working on their behalf include:
- When there is a failure to fund the trust by transferring ownership of your assets from your name to the trust, or to update beneficiary designations, the trust can be rendered useless.
- If the trust is not in writing, it will not hold up in court. An oral agreement between family members is not a legal trust.
- When proper language is not used in the trust, it may not be a legally binding document.
- You failed to show intent in your trust documents.
- There is no named beneficiary in your trust documents; a trust must be for the benefit of a third-party beneficiary.
What Are the Most Common Types of Trusts?
There are many different types of trusts. The trust you choose will reflect your specific needs as well as those of your loved ones.
- Revocable Trust —A revocable living trust is the most common type of trust. A living trust is one that benefits you while you are alive, if you should become incapacitated, and benefits your loved ones after your death.
- Special Needs or Supplemental Trust—A special needs or supplemental trust allows you to take care of a special needs child after your death by ensuring the child continues to be eligible for government benefits while still having an inheritance to provide additional resources.
- QPRT—A Qualified Personal Residence Trust is an irrevocable trust that places a personal residence into a trust, allowing you to take advantage of the gift tax exemption. You determine how long you will retain possession and use of the residence.
- SLAT—A Spousal Lifetime Access Trust allows the donor spouse to transfer up to the available exemption amount without a gift tax. When the donor spouse dies, the value of the assets in the SLAT is excluded from the donor spouse’s gross estate, thus not subject to federal estate taxes.
- Medicaid Asset Protection Trusts are sometimes known as Irrevocable Trusts or Medicaid Trusts. These trusts are used to protect assets, allowing you to qualify for Medicaid long-term care. The trust must be created 3 years prior to when Special Assistance Medicaid is needed or 5 years prior to when nursing home Medicaid is needed. Assets placed in the Medicaid Trust are considered completed gifts to the beneficiaries protecting those assets from Medicaid after the requisite lookback period.
- Charitable Trusts are set up specifically to help manage charitable giving by distributing proceeds and assets to a charity based on your instructions. A charitable trust works during your lifetime as well as after your death and can be a major component in estate planning.
- Irrevocable Insurance Trusts are created to own and control a term or permanent life insurance policy or policies. ILITs can be used to minimize estate taxes, protect government benefits, protect assets, and avoid gift taxes. ILITs are also used to manage and distribute proceeds paid from a life insurance plan upon the insured’s death.
How to Select the Best Trust Attorneys for Your Current Situation and Future Needs
You want to feel comfortable with your chosen trust attorney, knowing they will always work hard on your behalf to ensure your estate plan accurately reflects your wishes and goals. When you choose Cary trust attorneys from NC Planning, you will always receive open, honest communication as well as stellar client care from start to finish. We are responsive to your needs, working with clients across the financial spectrum—from those that have millions of dollars to clients with limited resources. We are ready to incorporate trusts that accurately reflect your needs into your estate plan and believe in the overall value of estate planning.
Now NC Planning Will Help You Plan for the Road Ahead
It is impossible to predict what will happen tomorrow, next week, next month, or next year. With the right planning, however, you can be prepared for the unexpected—no matter when it happens. The NC Planning team will help you create an estate plan that not only protects your family and assets but also leaves clear instructions for the future. We will ensure your wishes are carried out when the time comes through a comprehensive estate plan that may include one or more trusts.
We help our clients plan after taking their situation, their circumstances, their goals, and their needs into account. We can accurately answer your estate planning questions, address your concerns, and provide the estate planning services you need. Whether you need tax planning advice, long-term care information, answers on how to protect your assets, or you need to plan for a special needs child, NC Planning can help. We have offices in Raleigh, NC, and Cary, NC, for your convenience. Contact NC Planning today for the assistance you need in planning for your future.