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Last week, we discussed five reasons to consider using a trust in your estate planning. Honestly, five didn’t cover even half of the reasons you might want a trust, so we have assembled five more reasons to consider a trust.


6. Size of Estate

Even the relatively low probate tax we enjoy in Virginia will incur considerable expense as the size of a client’s estate grows.  Every million dollars of estate assets incurs an additional $1,000 of probate tax.  The federal estate tax, as of the date of this writing, doesn’t kick in for an individual until the estate value reaches $5.49 million, but is a whopping 40% after that.  Why not save that money, provide additional funds for beneficiaries, or donate it to charity by setting up a cost-effective trust?

7. Out of State Real Property

This can be one of the clearest reasons to consider a trust.  As we’ve seen, Virginia residents are lucky to have a reasonably simple probate process.  Can California residents say the same?  Or Ohio residents?  Do you really want to pay a lawyer to find out?  Trust me, dissecting the subtleties of various states’ probate processes is not as interesting a cocktail party conversation topic as you would think, I’ve tried.  Creating a trust and transferring title to out of state property into that trust can save considerable time, money and hassle in the future.

8. Current Status

If a client has just created or updated their will, it might not be the best time to make significant changes with a trust.  However, for clients that have no will or an old will requiring revision, this is a natural time to re-evaluate their estate planning needs and consider supplementing their plans with a trust.

9. Desire to Protect Family

We all want to protect our family.  For clients with adult children, providing instructions or limitations on the use of inheritance funds might not be necessary.  Clients with minor children or with loved ones with special needs have additional incentive to provide clear instructions on how they want those funds to be managed and disbursed.  A trust can provide exactly that.

10. Likelihood of Contest

Some families simply have conflict and some clients realize no matter what they put in a will, someone won’t be happy.  Because a trust takes effect when executed (as opposed to a will that takes effect upon a client’s death), it has a greater chance of withstanding certain attacks.  Combined with its potential for privacy, a trust is a compelling option in such circumstances.

Every client is unique and deserves individual attention to their wishes and estate planning needs.  Because no one-size-fits-all approach will work for everyone, clients with some of the circumstances discussed above can benefit from the increased specificity and flexibility a trust can provide.  Contact Asurest today to discuss what might be best for you.


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Disclaimer: This material is intended for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.  Responses to inquiries, whether by email, telephone, or other means, do not constitute legal advice, nor do they create or imply the existence of an attorney-client relationship.