Trust Attorneys in Auburn, Alabama
Whether you’re considering adding a trust to your current estate plan or you’re just starting to explore your options in the world of estate planning, it’s important to have a basic understanding of trusts and what they can do for you.
At Haygood, Cleveland, Pierce, Thompson & Short, we help clients achieve their estate planning goals every single day. We understand that everyone has different plans for their assets, and we want to help you preserve your legacy. Set up a consultation now by contacting us online or calling us at 334-821-3892.
Benefits of Trusts
For many people, trusts are an effective way to manage assets, avoid excessive taxation, and ensure beneficiaries’ prompt access to assets after the trust creator’s death or incapacitation. Despite common misconceptions, trusts and wills are not the same thing. Both have their place in estate planning, but trusts often substantial benefits that are not available with other tools.
Some of the top benefits offered by trusts include:
- Protect your privacy
- Enjoy tax advantages
- Protect assets from liability
- Distribute assets in a way that addresses each beneficiary’s needs and shortcomings
That last benefit is important for many families. Consider a will that gives one-third of the estate to each of the testator’s adult children. Two have a long history of relatively strong financial habits and stable incomes. The third has never held a job for more than a few months, uses any money they have available in an irresponsible manner, and is always asking other family members for loans.
With a will, all three would get the full amount right away. The third child would likely spend it wastefully and be asking their siblings for more within the year. With a trust, you could set up a distribution schedule that allows the third child to gain access to set amounts at certain times or when they reach specific milestones. This would make it more likely that the money you set aside for them would last them throughout their life.
Types of Trusts in Alabama
Depending on your long-term goals and assets, several types of trusts could be viable options for you. This is why it’s so important to discuss your needs with our team of Alabama estate planning attorneys. By taking a full inventory of your assets, developing an understanding of your goals, and figuring out which pitfalls you want to avoid, we can develop a comprehensive estate plan that exceeds your expectations.
Different types of trusts that could be viable options for you in Alabama include:
- Revocable trust. If you create a revocable trust, you maintain control of it until you pass away or become incapacitated, depending on the its terms. This allows you to transfer assets in, remove assets, or change the terms of the trust.
- Irrevocable trust. Upon creation of an irrevocable trust, you lose control of it. This prevents it from being used to limit your access to certain public services and benefits, but also does not allow you to change its terms if a beneficiary dies, becomes estranged, or leaves the family.
- Special needs trust. Those who want to use their assets to provide for the needs of a loved one with special needs often choose this type of trust. It puts assets in the care of a trustee who uses them for the benefit of the individual with special needs. As a result, the individual does not lose access to social benefits, medical care, and other benefits that are income-based and asset-based.
- Charitable trust. Charitable trusts give all or some of an individual’s assets to charitable causes.
- Life insurance trust. This option is a type of irrevocable trust. It manages the individual’s life insurance policy, ensuring that the policy is not a taxable part of the estate.
Creating a Personalized Estate Plan
There are no one-size-fits-all solutions to estate planning, which is why DIY and online solutions are often insufficient for your needs. Consider this: you have spent decades building up your assets, saving money and scrimping to make sure you leave behind a legacy for your loved ones. Working with an estate planning professional is just one more way you can maximize the benefits of your estate and make sure that your beneficiaries get what you want them to have.
No matter how much your assets are worth, how diversified your assets are, or how far you are from retirement, we believe that it is always the right time to begin your estate plan.
Our Team is Ready to Help
This is the time to check your estate plan and make sure it is up-to-date or, if you don’t yet have an estate plan, take the first step toward protecting your family’s future. Set up a consultation now by contacting Haygood, Cleveland, Pierce, Thompson & Short. Call us now at 334-821-3892 or fill out our online contact form to have someone reach out to you.