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A trust is a way to hold and invest property for the benefit of yourself and your loved ones. Trusts are not just for rich people. There are many different types of trusts, however, so please contact Robert W. Tribuiani, Esq. to help you choose the trust that is right for your unique set of circumstances. You may need a trust that is created during your lifetime. You may need a trust that is created after your death through your last will and testament. You may need to transfer your assets to your heirs outright or transfer your assets to your heirs in a way that allows you to exercise a degree of control over your assets, even after your death. A properly drafted trust document can help you accomplish your objectives.

What is a Trust?

A trust is a legal arrangement in which a person (the settlor or grantor) transfers legal title of property to a trustee to hold and administer for the benefit of a beneficiary. The most basic types of trusts are:

A revocable trust allows you to retain ownership and control of your property, and to change the terms of your trust. An irrevocable trust, however, does not allow you to retain ownership of the property in the trust or to change the terms of the trust once it is created, but it can provide certain protections and controls that make it advantageous, depending upon your specific circumstances. An inter vivos trust (called a living trust) is a trust that is created during your lifetime, whereas, a testamentary trust is a trust that is created by your will after your death. There are many other types of trusts.

Life Insurance Policies and Federal Estate Taxes

Contrary to popular belief, when you die, your life insurance proceeds are generally included in your federal estate for determining your federal estate taxes. In order to keep proceeds from your life insurance policy out of your federal estate, you can: 1) set up an irrevocable life insurance trust; or 2) have someone else own your life insurance policy and make sure that your estate is not a beneficiary of the policy. These techniques must be executed in strict compliance with federal rules. Furthermore, although there is an unlimited marital deduction for transfers to spouses, these proceeds are included in your spouse's federal estate in determining his or her federal estate taxes. Please consult our firm for legal advice on your life insurance policies. 

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Contact us today to help you understand the advantages and disadvantages of creating a trust, and the appropriate strategies to maximize your estate goals.