Setting up a trust may not be enough to protect the money you wish to bequest to your loved ones. There are instances where the trust may not cover a particular asset. And in some instances, a prepared trust may not cover the asset at all.
Elderly people across the country have been involved in legal battles where people, including family members, are attempting, or have attempted, to gain control of their assets. Some Massachusetts residents may find themselves in a similar situation to former astronaut, Buzz Aldrin, who is currently struggling with accusations that he is not mentally competent. Aldrin has a revocable trust in place to help him, but it is that same trust that is adding to his problems.
An incentive trust appeals to you. Your two children are very different. While your daughter is well-grounded and you have no doubt she will spend her inheritance wisely, your younger son is far different. He has always spent money quickly and made frivolous purchases that you did not approve of.
Caring for a special needs child can often be more complicated than many Massachusetts parents expect it to be. Many parents of special needs children have come to realize that their children may not be able to live independently, and they are constantly wondering how their children will be cared for after they pass away. Setting up a special needs trust may help to lessen many parent's worries.
Families with a special needs child are becoming more and more common. Many of these children will receive government benefits when they are older. Some Massachusetts parents may wish to leave a special needs child some kind of inheritance after they pass. However, leaving large amounts of money for these individuals may not be the best course of action. Instead, families may wish to consider setting up a special needs trust.
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.