Good Planning Neutralizes Threats
Good estate planning and proper use of trusts neutralizes threats. What threats? Taxes, lawsuits, probate fees, costs, family disputes, loss to in laws.
- Do you have a married child who may become divorced later in life? Unfortunately, in modern times the risk of divorce is high. Some statistics indicate that nearly 50% of newly married couples will divorce later in life. Leaving assets to them in trust, instead of outright, can protect these assets from claims of alimony and division in a divorce.
- Do you have a child or grandchild with “special needs”? If there are government benefits a loved one receives, then leaving assets to them in trust, instead of outright, can help preserve these benefits for your loved one.
- Do you have a child or loved one who has demonstrated an inability to manage assets? Perhaps, they are in serious debt or have a gambling problem. Leaving assets to them in trust, instead of outright, can protect these assets from irresponsible behavior.
- Do you have a successful child who is in a “high risk” profession? Perhaps, you have a daughter who is a surgeon. This profession brings with it a significant exposure to liability from lawsuits. Leaving assets to such a child in trust, instead of outright, can protect these assets from future lawsuits.
While there are many tax related benefits that can be achieved with trusts, a carefully tailored trust can accomplish many non tax objectives that can go a long way to protecting and preserving your family wealth. These matters, as outlined above, should be considered in every case.
Contributed by: Mark F. Winn, J.D., Master of Laws, LL.M. in Estate Planning, is a local tax, asset protection and estate planning attorney.