Do you and your significant other have
If you have a need to transfer property quickly and without probate, you might also want a Trust.
Trusts may also be useful for family business tax savings, or for continued care for minors or other dependents. Life insurance trusts help manage multiple policies, while retaining the estate tax exception for that method of asset transfers.
You both should also have Powers of Attorney for healthcare and property, because you want the person you trust to be able to take care of medical care decisions or of your finances if you can’t manage them, without needing to go to court to get authorization.
Here are some of the ways we have worked for people like you:
Business Trust: The CEO of a mold making company that worked with Keebler and other major commercial bakers had us designate a friend as trustee, create several trusts for family members, retain management for his business until sold, and make sure educational donations preserving his legacy in the baking business were made. The trust also provided for management of his property if he or his wife became disabled. The charitable trust elements of the document minimized capital gains and estate taxation.
Family Wills: A college professor and his wife had two kids and a dog to think about. Two wills (husband to wife and heirs, wife to husband) containing children’s trusts and designating appropriate family members as guardians if the other parent did not survive, plus powers of attorney for health care and for property, protected all at minimum cost.
Support Trust: Our former pastor had a charming daughter with Down’s syndrome, as well as two very capable siblings. We prepared wills giving all to wife, or all to husband, if the other survived, and containing both a long term support trust for the Down’s syndrome daughter with friends in place as trustees until the siblings could take over, and family management thereafter. Conformance to Medicaid rules in the support trust preserved access to healthcare and residential facilities for their daughter, if their own funds in trust proved insufficient in later years.
Making Sure Your Wishes Are Followed: Unfortunately, some children can’t accept any change in estate plans that lets their siblings – or their mother’s charities – receive anything. We represented the trustee of a physician’s trust we drafted against her millionare surgeon son, and obtained counsel for the church, the other son, and the college she had named in a trust amendment that cut the first son’s share from 95% to 35%. He and his incompetent counsel paid all the lawyer fees for the trustee, his brother, the church, and the college, and the highest penalty for abusing the court process ever awarded in DuPage County. The trust was administered as written.