Trusts are common to estate plans and come in a variety of arrangements, designed for many different purposes. Trusts are legal entities in their own right into which you “fund” your assets/property to be managed by your named trustee(s) and eventually passed on to your heirs and beneficiaries according to the document’s instructions. Because the assets you place into a trust are no longer titled to you, they are generally protected from the liabilities of those making claims against you, such as creditors. The trustee(s) you name to manage your trust has a fiduciary duty to serve the best interests of everyone involved in the trust, from you to your named heirs and beneficiaries.
At the Law Office of Jason Brown, we can help you understand the various types of trusts, walk you through how they work, and help you select and set up the type of trusts that best fit your needs. These legal instruments can play an important role in your estate plan and have many benefits. Attorney Jason Brown is well-versed in all of the legal details of various trusts and can advise and guide through the process of creating, revising, or terminating trusts, where applicable.
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Trusts in Texas Estate Planning
As mentioned above, many types of trusts exist. Their basic requirements are that you are of sound mind as the creator of the trust, that the person(s) you name to act as trustee(s) serve the best interests of the beneficiaries, and that funds, assets, or property are placed within the trust to be managed and passed on according to your wishes as laid out in the trust.
Types of Trusts
Examples of trusts can include but are not limited to:
- Revocable living trusts. These are trusts in which you can be the trustee to manage your assets as you see fit while you are alive. Once you pass away, the assets will be distributed by your successor trustee(s) to your beneficiaries. Because it is revocable, you can amend or terminate the trust at any time.
- Testamentary trusts. These are created in connection with your will, becoming effective upon your passing. These are generally irrevocable. However, you are usually able to make changes. These are commonly used in a will for the benefit of minors, such as children and grandchildren.
- Irrevocable trusts. These trusts may be set up for various financial purposes. They cannot be amended or added to. Their purpose is usually to avoid estate taxes or to create disability planning.
- Charitable trusts. These allow you to pass on assets to your favorite charities with instructions on how those assets are to be passed on or used by these beneficiaries.
- Asset protection trusts. These trusts are set up to protect assets from creditors, judgments, and lawsuits. You can be a beneficiary of the trust, meaning you can have access to its funds.
- Special needs trusts. These are created to provide for the needs of disabled children or adults. They are usually set up to preserve their eligibility for government benefit programs that are only available to those on a limited income. These programs include Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
- Pet trusts. These are created to ensure that pets are provided for in the event of your passing with available funds.
The Law Office of Jason Brown can help you set up the types of trusts that best fit your goals and needs. These legal tools can protect and preserve the assets you have worked so hard to build throughout your lifetime, ensure that they are passed on according to your wishes, can bypass the probate process, may minimize taxes, address distinct family dynamics, such as those involving blended families, as well as help family members manage financial matters. We take the time to understand the circumstances involved in your case so we can tailor trust documents appropriately.
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