Establishing Trusts to Support Your Estate Planning Goals

Estate planning encompasses far more than putting a last will in testament in place that identifies how you envision your assets and property being distributed among your beneficiaries upon your passing. One aspect of estate planning in Washington State is exploring and evaluating the different types of trusts that can help you achieve your wealth preservation goals, ensuring that your loved ones continue to enjoy economic stability when you are no longer here to support them. Setting up a trust can help you minimize certain tax obligations, maximizing the amount of financial assets that your beneficiaries are able to receive once you pass away. At The Vern McCray Law Firm, PLLC, our goal is to work with every client to identify their estate planning goals so we can utilize various tools and strategies to help clients achieve their desired outcomes. Whether you are just starting to think about putting an estate plan in place or you have a specific question about forming a trust, we encourage you to contact our Camas office today to arrange a free consultation with one of our knowledgeable and experienced Clark County estate planning lawyers. Let’s take a look at a few of the trust options that may be available to Washington residents as they begin the process of putting an estate plan in place. 

Irrevocable Trusts

When you form an irrevocable trust, you place your assets in an account, essentially giving up control over the assets. Once assets have been placed into an irrevocable trust, they enjoy several protections. For example, irrevocable trusts shield the assets from creditors, judgments, and divorce. One of the most attractive benefits of irrevocable trusts is their ability to reduce an individual’s tax liability, as you can move taxable assets from your estate into an irrevocable trust and spare you from any estate taxes you would have otherwise owed. It’s important to recognize that there are many different types of irrevocable trusts, such as an irrevocable life insurance trust (ILIT) that allows you to distribute the policy’s death benefits to your heirs or allocate them toward estate administration expenses without incurring estate taxes. Those who have family members with special needs may find that an irrevocable trust is a strategic way to plan for the ongoing financial support of this beneficiary without disqualifying them from receiving government benefits. If you are interested in learning more about whether an irrevocable trust may be a strategic estate planning tool for you and your family, reach out to The Vern McCraw Law Firm, PLLC, at your earliest convenience to discuss your goals. 

Revocable Living Trusts

A revocable living trust (sometimes referred to as a living trust) allows your estate to avoid the probate process when transferring your assets to your named beneficiaries. Many people want to minimize the stress and expenses that are typically associated with probate, and forming a revocable living trust can help you achieve this goal. When you establish a revocable living trust, you transfer ownership of some or all of your assets to the legal trust entity. For example, you may place your residence, rental property, and financial accounts into the revocable living trust. It’s important to recognize that the terms of the revocable living trust can be changed at any time, and you even have the right to cancel it entirely before you pass away if you decide that this action is in your best interests. Otherwise, revocable living trusts offer several advantages, such as ensuring the private transfer of assets to designated beneficiaries instead of going through probate (which is a matter of public record) and circumnavigating the requirements and expenses of the probate process. We encourage you to contact our office today to learn more about how a revocable living trust can help to support your estate planning goals,

Testamentary Trusts

A testamentary trust, also called a trust under will, ensures that the trustee of your choosing will oversee and manage the trust’s assets upon your death. The trustee will distribute and administer the assets according to the wishes and instructions you have created in your will. Testamentary trusts are especially good tools for protecting the interests of beneficiaries who are minors or who may need additional supervision in financial matters. The assets you place in a testamentary trust will not be distributed among your named beneficiaries until you pass away, but you may still fund the trust over the course of your lifetime. Our team of experienced and understanding Camas estate planning attorneys is ready to assist you with all of your trust creation and administration needs, so give us a call today to get started.

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