What Can a Trust Do for My Family?

Info from a Washington DC and Maryland Estate Planning Lawyer

Maryland and Washington DC Estate Planning Attorney Helping FamiliesNo matter what the size of your estate, you want to be sure that that the maximum amount of your assets are distributed to the people you intend. Unfortunately, you cannot always guarantee your loved ones will receive what they deserve with a will alone, and you may be interested in forming a trust. Maryland and Washington DC estate planning attorney Michelle Lanchester can analyze your situation and help form a trust that is right for you.

By specifying the conditions upon which your loved ones receive money and property, a trust can provide ongoing management during your lifetime and after your death that will give you peace of mind.

What Is A Trust?

A trust is a complex, flexible, private asset management tool containing your written directives that determine how your beneficiaries will receive your assets during your lifetime and after your death.

Your trust can effectively specify the conditions upon which loved ones receive money and property over a specified term of years. Trusts can also be drafted for parents who are concerned about providing ongoing management of children with special needs. Trusts do not go through probate and are not subject to probate fees. Additionally, you may be able to use certain trusts to minimize estate tax liability.

Different Types of Trusts

A number of different trusts may help with your estate planning.

Four common types of trusts include:

  • Revocable Trusts: Also called living trusts, you create revocable trusts in your lifetime through a transfer of property to a trustee. You retain the power to change or revoke the trust until you die, at which point the trust becomes irrevocable.
  • Irrevocable Trusts: These are trusts that you create in a manner where you relinquish ownership, power and control over the trust after it is executed.  You generally cannot make changes to theses trusts after they are executed. These irrevocable trusts are generally used as irrevocable life insurance trusts and used for transferring life insurance benefits.
  • Special Needs Trusts: This is a trust that benefits an individual with a disability. This trust is set up to ensure that beneficiaries can get the help they need without disqualifying them from receiving government benefits.

Additionally, there may be other trusts available that fit your estate planning needs.

Because trusts are very complex, it is crucial that you contact a Washington DC and Maryland estate planning lawyer for guidance. Maryland and Washington DC estate planning attorney Michelle Lanchester can help. With 25 years of estate planning experience, Attorney Lanchester knows how to develop a solution to fit your needs. No matter what your net worth, health or family situation, Attorney Lanchester will work with you to address any questions and concerns, and she will ultimately help you form a trust that suits your needs.

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