A Trust legally empowers a person as the nominal owner of any property or resources, and allows them to distribute said property or resources for the benefit of one or more others. Our Michigan Estate Planning Attorneys can also guide you through the process of funding your Trust. Contact our office for help in deciding which type of Trust would best meet your needs.
Our Estate Planning Services include several different types of Trusts. Our Estate Planning Attorneys can help you choose which one or more is right for your present and future plans. Some of the most common trusts we see with clients include the following.
Revocable Living Trusts
A Revocable Living Trust is established during your lifetime. You manage the Trust for your benefit until your death or incapacitation. During your incapacity, you can appoint a Successor Trustee to manage your Trust assets for your benefit and thereby avoiding the need to go to Probate Court for a Conservator. A “Pour-Over Will is used together with a Trust to help ensure that any assets not properly funded into the Trust “pour-over” after death. This type of Trust is popular because of its flexibility. It grants an income to the Grantor according to the terms of the Trust, and officially transfers property to the beneficiaries after the Grantor’s death.
In an Irrevocable Trust, once the assets are transferred into it, the grantor surrenders all rights to ownership to the trust and its assets. The trust can now be modified or terminated only with the beneficiary’s permission. This is the direct opposite of the revocable trust. Such Trusts can be used to greatly reduce taxes or plan for a loved one with disabilities. It is common for Life Insurance Trusts and Special Needs Trusts to be Irrevocable.
A Trust, commonly referred to as a “Special Needs Trust,” is a flexible planning tool for families with a loved one with a disability. As a parent, family member or friend of a special needs person, you know that life care planning is essential. Such planning helps assure a continuum of care and quality of life for the special needs person even after loved ones are unable to do so themselves.
A special needs person who has too many assets will not be able to qualify for valuable government and community benefits. If your special needs loved one has too many assets, or may inherit assets, or will receive payment from a lawsuit, Special Needs Trust planning should be considered.
Irrevocable Life Insurance Trusts
Irrevocable Life Insurance Trusts are funded by a life insurance policy from the grantor. As in other irrevocable trusts, after the trust is funded, the grantor surrenders all rights to or control of the trust. If properly structured, the benefits paid to an irrevocable life insurance trust will not be included in the taxable portion of the estate. Also, irrevocable trusts are good for protecting important assets or controlling how benefits are paid out to beneficiaries.
Individual Retirement Account Trusts are used for controlling your IRA assets after your death. The Grantor names a Trust as the beneficiary of his or her IRA and spells out exactly how they want the assets to be handled. All types of IRAs can be used for IRA Trusts, including simple IRAs, SEP, and Roth IRAs. If you are considering an IRA Trust as part of your Estate plan, talk with one of our Estate Planning Attorneys regarding possible tax consequences on particular transactions.
Charitable contributions not only provide for the continuation of beneficial services by your favorite organization, they can offer significant tax benefits for the donor. For those with a sizable estate, this can mean hundreds, even thousands, of dollars in income tax and estate tax savings. A charitable trust is not tax-exempt and its interests are typically devoted to charitable purposes. These trusts are allowed a charitable contribution deduction under the IRS code. Generally, gifts to charity, including charitable trusts, are deductible without limit and can reduce the overall taxable estate.
Respected Michigan Trust Lawyers
Our Michigan Trust Attorneys can provide more information on these or many other types of Trusts as part of our top tier Estate planning and legal services. Our goal is to always serve the best interests of our clients, helping them find security and peace of mind about the future and their loved ones.
The Michigan Estate Planning Law Firm of Mall Malisow & Cooney maintains a significant presence in reputable listings such as Super Lawyers and Best Lawyers in America. Moreover, our law firm is comprised of two Attorneys who are nationally Certified Elder Law Attorneys (CELA), certified by the National Elder Law Foundation.