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Estate Planning

Types of Trusts: Choosing the Right One

Feb-15 2023

5 Most Common Types of Trusts

Estate planning is a vital part of managing your assets and ensuring that your loved ones are taken care of after you pass away. One popular tool for estate planning is a trust, which allows you to transfer your assets to a trustee who will manage them on behalf of your beneficiaries. Trusts come in many different forms, and it's essential to choose the right type of trust to meet your specific needs. In this article, we'll explore the different types of trusts and help you understand which one is the best fit for you.

Revocable Living Trusts

A revocable living trust is a type of trust that allows you to retain control over your assets while you're alive. You can change or revoke the trust at any time, making it a flexible estate planning tool. The assets in the trust will pass directly to your beneficiaries without going through probate, which can save time and money.

Revocable living trusts are ideal for people who want to maintain control over their assets during their lifetime while still providing for their loved ones after they're gone. They're also helpful if you become incapacitated, as your trustee can manage your assets on your behalf.

Irrevocable Trusts

Unlike revocable living trusts, irrevocable trusts cannot be changed or revoked once they're established. Once you transfer your assets to an irrevocable trust, they're no longer considered yours, and you lose control over them. However, this also means that they're protected from creditors and estate taxes.

Irrevocable trusts are best suited for individuals who want to protect their assets from creditors and potential legal action. They're also helpful for reducing the size of your taxable estate, which can save your heirs a significant amount of money in estate taxes.

Testamentary Trusts

A testamentary trust is established in your will and only comes into effect after you pass away. These trusts are useful for individuals who want to provide for their children or other beneficiaries who are minors or who have special needs. By creating a testamentary trust, you can specify how your assets will be distributed to your beneficiaries, ensuring that they're used for their intended purpose.

Special Needs Trusts

A special needs trust is designed to provide for beneficiaries who have physical or mental disabilities. These trusts are specifically tailored to meet the unique needs of each beneficiary, providing for their care and well-being without disqualifying them from receiving government benefits.

Charitable Trusts

Charitable trusts are designed to support charitable organizations or causes. By creating a charitable trust, you can leave a lasting legacy while also reducing your taxable estate. There are two main types of charitable trusts: charitable remainder trusts and charitable lead trusts.

Charitable remainder trusts provide income to your beneficiaries for a specified period, after which the remaining assets are donated to a charitable organization. Charitable lead trusts, on the other hand, donate income to a charity for a specified period, after which the remaining assets are passed on to your beneficiaries.

It's important to note that leaving a gift to a charity can also be done through your Last Will or Pour-over Will and doesn't always require a trust to accomplish this goal.

Choosing the Right Trust

When choosing the right trust for you, it's important to consider your specific needs and goals. Revocable living trusts are a flexible estate planning tool that can provide for your loved ones while allowing you to retain control over your assets during your lifetime.

At the end of the day, the type of trust you choose will depend on your unique circumstances and goals. Remember to keep in mind that estate planning is not a one-time event. As your circumstances change over time, you may need to revisit your estate plan and make updates or changes to your trust to ensure that it continues to meet your needs which is why GoodTrust offers unlimited updates.

In conclusion, a trust can be an effective estate planning tool to ensure that your assets are managed and distributed according to your wishes. With careful planning and consideration, you can ensure that your loved ones are taken care of and your assets are managed according to your wishes, even after you're gone.

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