Four Decades Of Legal Excellence

Using trusts to protect assets in an estate plan

| Feb 17, 2020 | Estate Planning |

Virginia residents may want to consider using trust protectors as part of their estate planning. Trust protectors can take over a trust if it is in peril from lawsuits, creditors or a soon-to-be-ex-spouse.

In general, creating a trust is a good way to protect children’s money. It can also ensure that if a spouse dies and the surviving spouse remarries, the money will not go to a stepparent. Usually, children can be named as trustees. However, there may be times when it is necessary for a trust protector to step in. This might be a sibling. Trust protectors are not only useful for parents. They can be used in a variety of situations to ensure that money is a trust is kept safe. People may also want to consider having any life insurance policies owned by a trust.

There are several other ways that people may want to protect their wealth and avoid estate tax. An asset protection trust can also have a protector although it also has an outside trustee. The protection offered by a spousal lifetime access trust is less robust, but it keeps the assets out of the taxable portion of the estate while leaving the couple in control. Another option is a dynasty trust, which can build wealth and remove gift and estate tax for generations.

The process of estate planning can be complex, and errors or even just less advantageous ways of structuring the estate can be confusing and costly to loved ones. In many cases, people may think their estate is fairly straightforward and may be unaware of opportunities to provide greater protection. An attorney may be able to help an individual with some of the decisions involved and offer important information about how a trust or other estate planning vehicles can be used.