Terms like “irrevocable (locked) trusts” and “revocable trusts” conjure up images of wealthy families with multiple yachts. However, the fact is that everyone has assets and needs a plan to manage the assets consistent with their objectives in life
Maine Elder Law Attorneys, P.A. can review your options to see what would best suit the needs of your family. Whether you are just getting started with the process or you have documents in place that may need updating, we can help you define your objectives and develop a plan to achieve your goals.
Have You Considered a Trust?
A trust is a legal entity that is created to hold property. That could be tangible property like real estate or money in a bank account, shares of stock, or other less tangible assets. Property placed in a trust is managed by the trustee, but the trustee is not allowed to use the property for their own benefit.
Instead, the benefits go to whoever is named the beneficiary of the trust. As an example, parents must set up a trust to provide care for their minor children if they should pass away. A trustee would manage the property in the trust, but it could only be used for the good of the children.
Using Revocable Living Trusts to Avoid Probate
Trusts can be used for many different purposes. One of the most common reasons many people establish trusts is to enable their property to pass directly to family members or other loved ones without being tied up in probate, which is expensive, confusing, and time-consuming. A trust used to avoid probate is often referred to as a “living trust.”
Unlike most other trust situations, in a living trust, the creator of the trust serves as both trustee and beneficiary. They can use their property any way they want, just as they did before the trust was created. When they pass away, all remaining property goes right to the people named as alternate beneficiaries.
Other Ways to Use Trusts
In addition to avoiding probate, trusts can be used to accomplish many other purposes. A Maine Elder Law Attorney could create a trust to:
- Protect assets from creditors
- Support a charity
- Avoid or reduce estate taxes
- Establish eligibility for Medicaid
- Provide for special needs individuals
- Fund education for grandchildren
- Care for pets
Whether Your Estate Plans are Simple or Complex, Maine Elder Law Attorneys, P.A. is Ready to Assist
Reach Out Today
MELA is here to help with identifying your legal needs, develop a plan to address the needs, and advise throughout the process. Core and value added services are at the core of our thinking - call or e-mail us today.