Trust and Estate Planning

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Review of Estate and Trust Documents

  • Decades of experience working with very wealthy families has provided us with a knowledge base of best practices for each family’s unique circumstances.
  • Review your trust and estate planning to ensure it aligns with your current goals and to evaluate potential opportunities to reduce estate taxes.
  • Understanding of trust language.
  • Create flow charts for trusts.

Discuss Strategies to Minimize Estate and Income Taxes

  • Ensure recommended strategies effectively match your personal goals, desires, and cash flow needs
  • Advanced gifting strategies combined with cash flow planning

Determine Charitable Planning Strategies

  • Analyze donor-advised funds, private foundations, and other charitable giving strategies.
  • Consider as part of pre-transaction planning to maximize charitable giving and minimize taxes.

Access to Secure Digital Vault

  • Provide secure, digital storage of your sensitive financial documents.
  • Maintain contact information for all trusted advisors

What is trust and estate planning?

  • What is a trust?

    A trust is a fiduciary relationship in which a grantor grants the title to their property or assets to a trustee for the benefit of a beneficiary, or third party.

  • What is the main purpose of a trust planning?

    In general, a trust is used for many reasons. In fact, there are three main purposes of a trust:

    1. To legally protect the grantor’s assets or property.
    2. To ensure proper distribution of assets or property according to the wishes of the grantor.
    3. To save time and to avoid/reduce inheritance or estate tax.

What are the three types of trust?

In every case, the purpose of the trust greatly impacts which type of trust is chosen. To help you decide which one to select, here are the three types of trusts:

  • 1) Living or testamentary. On one hand, a living trust (or intro-vivo trust) is a document that states how the grantor’s assets or property should be managed for their own use during their lifetime. In addition, the assets are then given to the beneficiaries after their death. And a successor trustee will ensure that everything is transferred according to the grantor’s wishes. On the other hand, a testamentary trust (or will trust) strictly addresses how the grantor’s assets or property should be allocated after their death.
  • 2) Revocable or irrevocable. While a revocable trust can be changed or taken away by the grantor during their lifetime, an irrevocable trust is permanent no matter what. In fact, a living trust can be either revocable or irrevocable. But a testamentary trust can only be irrevocable. In general, irrevocable trusts are preferred. Since these types of trusts mean moving property out of a grantor’s possession permanently, estate taxes are reduced or avoided.
  • 3) Funded or unfunded. A funded trust means that the grantor puts funds in the trust during their lifetime. While an unfunded trust means that the trust only has the terms of the agreement with no funds. Oftentimes, people prefer funded trusts since unfunded trusts usually make assets susceptible to what trusts aim to avoid.

What is an estate?

An estate includes everything that makes up the net worth of someone. In fact, these include possessions, land and real estate, cash, financial securities, and all other assets that they own or contribute to.

What is the main purpose of estate planning?

The main purpose of estate planning is to determine the allocation of an individual’s assets upon their death or incapacitation. Usually, this includes how their estate taxes will be handled. In most cases, estate plans are set up with the help of an estate law attorney.

What are the types of estates?

  • 1) Freehold estate. In short, a freehold estate has no time limit on interest and depends on the type of freehold. Further, the three types of freehold are fee simple, fee tail, and life estate.
  • 2) Non-freehold estate. In contrast to a freehold estate, a non-freehold estate has no rights to ownership and is not inheritable. There are four types of non-freehold estate, which include: tenancy for years, tenancy from period to period, tenancy at will, and tenancy at sufferance.
  • 3) Leasehold estate. In general, a leasehold estate is an agreement where a tenant is allowed to use the owner’s proper for a set period of time. In fact, there are four types of leasehold that explain the relationship between a tenant and the owner: estate for years, estate at will, estate from period to period, and estate at sufferance.
  • 40 Equitable estate. This type of estate allows someone to take land with no legal rights and is recognized by the court. There is no ownership or possession of the property. Plus, this is only allowed in countries that follow “common law.” For instance, countries that permit equitable estate are the United States, Canada, Australia, England, and New Zealand.
  • 5) Concurrent estate. Many people own this type of estate. Then multiple tenants are responsible for it. In addition, the agreement states that upon the death of the owner, the tenants will equally share the property as stated. There are three types of concurrent estates: joint tenancy, tenancy by entirety, and tenancy in common. To explain, joint tenancy is shared between two or more people in the same time frame. While tenancy by entirety is shared between a husband and wife. Finally, tenancy in common is a legal document addressing the holding of assets for two or more people.
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