Preserving Your Legacy Through Trusts

When you have worked long and hard to build an estate that leaves something for your loved ones, you need to consider how those assets will be managed after you are gone. Maybe your heirs are too young to responsibly manage them. Maybe they simply do not have the financial know-how that you did when investing.

Isn't a will enough for my estate plan? In short, probably not. Talk to me, attorney Jeffrey J. Storey.

At Storey Law Office in Coon Rapids I can help you find more effective estate planning tools that preserve your legacy and give something of real value to the people you care about. A trust is a prime example of those tools.

Why A Trust Might Be Your Best Bet

Through a trust, you can dictate how and when money is distributed to heirs and beneficiaries. A trust also prevents many estate tax issues that often arise from lump-sum estate gifts.

By setting up your assets in a trust, you can:

  • Ensure that assets are properly distributed after you are gone. Through a trust, you can create distribution stipulations for the trustee to follow. For example, you may dictate that funds can be distributed only for educational purposes or that a beneficiary cannot receive the funds until he or she earns a college degree.
  • Ensure that assets are properly managed after you are gone. A trust can help you outline how funds will be used. For example, funds may need to be invested for further growth, with distribution arising only out of responsible investment.
  • Minimize estate taxes so beneficiaries and heirs do not lose the bulk of their inheritance to tax penalties. A trust can help you distribute funds according to a schedule that mirrors regular income for living expenses. This is especially helpful for people who have special-needs dependents who will require long-term care and support. Assets kept in a trust can also keep reportable income low so that the beneficiary remains eligible for income-based benefits like Supplemental Security Income or Medicare.
  • Prevent creditor access to estate funds. When funds are distributed in a lump sum, they become part of the heir's or beneficiary's estate immediately. That means those funds are subject to creditor actions against the individual, divorce actions and property division rulings or even personal injury lawsuits. Funds will be better protected when placed in a trust.

A living trust is another way to get all of these benefits when planning for your own potential incapacitation. A trustee will be able to use your estate responsibly to care for your needs if you cannot handle those matters on your own.

With more than 30 years of experience in a wide range of estate matters, I can help ensure that you use the right estate planning tools to make the best use of your assets. Contact my office in Anoka County, Minnesota, to arrange a free initial consultation with an experienced lawyer.