There are many different ways a person can set up an estate plan to protect and prepare for the future of their assets after their death. One way that this is done is through the creation of a trust. A trust is a legal arrangement that allows a third party, a trustee, to hold and manage assets on behalf of the beneficiaries until they are able to inherit them. Its purpose is to ensure that a person's assets are protected and utilized in a way they deem fit. There are various types of trusts that serve for different purposes. Therefore, it's important to understand the different types of trusts in order to know which will suit you best.
What are the different types of trusts?
1.) Irrevocable Trust
An Irrevocable Trust is a type of trust that, once executed, cannot be changed or revoked without consent of all beneficiaries or a court approval. Essentially, this means once your assets are in the trust, you no longer have full control over them as well as the freedom to make any revisions you want. However, a benefit of this type of trust is that assets in the trust will not be subject to state or federal estate taxes. In addition, assets are also protected from creditors and legal judgment which avoids lawsuits and false claims.
2.) Revocable Trust
A Revocable Trust, also known as a living trust, is a type of trust that allows you to modify or change anything at any time you see fit, without needing the consent of any beneficiaries. With a revocable trust you have full and complete control over your assets, how you want them distributed and if you want to add or revoke any. It is also commonly used for those who want to avoid the probate process, which can take months to years. However, assets in this trust are subject to state and federal estate taxes. In addition, assets are not protected from lawsuits and creditors.
3.) Special Needs Trust
A Special Needs Trust, also known as a supplemental needs trust, can be established as a living trust and is generally designed for a loved one with a disability. It is commonly used for a dependent such as a child, sibling or parents that are unable to provide for their own financial needs. It is also made to continue caring for a person with special needs without disrupting government entitlement benefits such as SSI or medicaid.
4.) Charitable Trust
A Charity Trust is an irrevocable trust that is made to simultaneously benefit you, your beneficiaries and a Charity of your choosing that is qualified under IRS rules. There are 2 types of charitable trusts:
Charitable Lead Trust - The way a charitable lead trust works is, individuals are allowed to choose charities that will receive interest from the financial gift they have assigned to them for a specified period of time. Once the period has ended, the remaining assets may either go to their family or beneficiaries.
Charitable Remainder Trust - The way a charitable remainder trust works is that you, your family or your beneficiaries can receive interest from a financial gift assigned for a determined period of time. Then, once that period has ended, the remainder of the assets go to the charity of your choosing.
5.) Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust
An Irrevocable life insurance trust is designed to help those who have estates that might exceed federal or New York estate tax exemptions. With this, trustors are allowed to exclude life insurance proceeds from the taxable estate. This then allows beneficiaries to be free from any taxes that may be placed on the trustor's life insurance policy in the estate and to transfer death benefits immediately.
A trust is a very valuable tool when it comes to estate planning. With so many different types available, it can be tricky choosing which one is best for you. If you need an attorney to help determine which trust is best for you, contact the Law Office of Inna Fershteyn at (718) 333-2395.