Whether in Massachusetts or elsewhere, a basic fact to remember is that trusts must be funded before they can do anything. However, an unfunded trust is not void. For example, a revocable trust that is unfunded will remain valid but inoperative until it is funded. This sometimes does not happen until the settlor dies and his/her pour over provision in the will kicks in and sends specified assets to the trust. That is an ironic result because one of the purposes of creating the revocable trust is to avoid probate.
A trust is an often-underutilized estate planning tool that allows for clear and specific stipulations regarding the handling of a Massachusetts individual's estate and asset distribution, while often minimizing taxes and administrative expenses. With terms like living trust, revocable and irrevocable trust and more, though, the vast array of options and legal phrases may feel overwhelming. An estate planning attorney can offer more detailed information, but here are some quick summaries that may help clarify the basics.
The idea of estate planning may have some Massachusetts residents feeling wary, but other individuals may be excited about the prospect. By creating a plan, parties can decide who should receive which assets and ensure that their other wishes are also known. Of course, individuals have various planning options to consider, and one tool that may seem appealing is a revocable trust.
Choosing to utilize planning tools other than wills commonly occur during individuals' estate planning. For many Massachusetts residents, a revocable trust could come in handy if they hope to avoid probate or allow certain assets more protection. However, while this tool can prove beneficial in theory, parties may only be limiting themselves if they do not use their trusts to their full potential.
Having a child with special needs can add a different element to an individual's life. Therefore, when considering end-of-life plans, Massachusetts residents may wish to consider adding additional elements to their estate plans. A special needs trust could be one potential option to consider as individuals work to create their plans.
Asset protection is often important to many Massachusetts residents. Because they likely have worked long and hard to obtain their property, money and other assets, it is common for concerns to arise when it comes to the distribution of that property after death. Luckily, creating a revocable trust or other type of trust account could help individuals address their concerns.
As you age, it only makes sense to pay close attention to your estate plan.
When planning one's estate, there are numerous things to consider -- such as how assets and beneficiaries would best be protected, for instance. Unfortunately, many Massachusetts residents may not know all of the available options open to them that will allow them to achieve such goals. Honestly, for some, creating trusts may prove to be in their best interests -- but what kind? Should revocable trust or an irrevocable trust be chosen?
Many Massachusetts parents devote their lives to taking care of their children -- especially children with special needs. These children often require care even after they become adults, and additional estate planning will most likely be required in order to help secure their futures. Creating a special needs trust to go along with other documents could help put parent's minds at ease.
Most Massachusetts residents focus on what will happen after their deaths when creating estate plans. However, it is just as important, if not more so in some cases, to plan for what will happen in the event that they are not able to care for themselves at some point. This is where powers of attorney become essential.