A living trust is one in which you make the arrangements for one person to hold the legal titles to various properties (or a single property) for someone else. The one who holds the titles is the trustee and the one to benefit from that when the time is right is called the beneficiary.
What is a Living Trust?
A living trust is one created by you while you’re still living. The alternative is for a trust to be created after your death that follows what you have outlined in your will. The primary goal for creating a living trust is to lift the burdens of probate court from your loved ones. In Vermont, the Uniform Probate Code isn’t used, which means it’s a bit more complicated for those unsure of which route to take. A living trust can help avoid those frustrating complications. Understand that this doesn’t eliminate the need for a will, it simply makes it easier for those you love while also further cementing your final wishes.
It Doesn’t Replace a Will
There are other reasons why a will is always a good thing. If you purchase land, but either forgot or delayed adding it to your trust, the will can provide direction on who should receive that property. If no will exists and if it is not included in your trust, the property passes through to your closest relatives in accordance with the state laws.
Various reports reveal that most wealthy individuals and families would prefer their wealth be passed to either their children or grandchildren. Even then, it can present problems, especially if there’s a big family and if family members are closer to you than others. There always exists the possibility of hurt feelings, though as estate planning lawyers, our goal is to keep those potential problems to a minimum by making sure our clients understand the dynamics from a total viewpoint.
Estate Taxes in Vermont
Depending on the type of trust created, there are instances when estate taxes can be reduced within Vermont. Living trusts can indeed reduce your federal estate taxes for those who are married and with considerable assets; however, in most instances, federal taxes aren’t a consideration. Generally, it applies to those with assets that total more than $2 million.
Our role as estate planning attorneys is to ensure your trust document is completed properly. From naming your trustee to ensuring the proper signatures are included, it’s our responsibility to our clients to prevent problems from happening. After that, we want to ensure your property goes to those you’ve designated with as few problems or glitches as possible.
Taking it a step further, the real task is to keep up with the changes in your life. Family wealth shifts, new heirs are born, divorces happen and remarriages are blessed. It’s simply part of the life cycle – and when we can keep our clients a step ahead of the game, we’ve met our goals. The smallest overlooked detail can affect future generations and being able to anticipate what lies ahead keeps you confident in your own decisions.
The fact is, there are a number of trust vehicles that are designed to protect what you’ve worked for. We can present you with all of the options you have available while also providing the educational information needed to make the best decision for you and your family. It’s the all-inclusive approach that’s crucial between attorneys and their clients. If you’re lacking that, you’re always wondering how covered those proverbial bases really are.
We stand ready to help guide you through the legalities of estate planning and designating your living trusts.
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