ELD-502: Trusts and Estates
Welcome to LawShelf’s badge program on trusts and trust provisions. In this badge program, we’ll introduce you to the world of trusts and the amazing benefits they can bestow. This program is of low to moderate difficulty (the tax sections are where the moderate difficulty comes in) and no prior knowledge of estate planning or probate law is required.
Trusts have acquired popular reputations as rich people’s devices. We hear terms like “trust fund babies” and think of excessive family wealth being secured for generations
But the reality is that many low and middle-income families could also benefit from the flexibility and utility that trusts afford. Trusts don’t have to be complex and their features and benefits can often be easily grasped and understood.
Trusts can be used to avoid probate, which is a time-consuming, expensive and public process by which assets of a deceased person are administered. They can also be used to protect assets in case of a lawsuit or need for government benefits. Many tax-saving strategies can also be accomplished through trusts.
This badge program takes a holistic view of what trusts can accomplish. It will introduce you to many concerns that apply to low-, middle- and high-wealth clients. After explaining each potential concern and its rules, we’ll look at how trusts can be used to mitigate the concerns.
The goal of this program is to allow you to develop trust strategies that consider many concerns and to ensure that you’re not solving some problems at the cost of ignoring others.
Creating an estate plan that involves trusts requires consideration of creditor protection, benefits planning, disability planning, probate, transfer taxes, income taxes, property taxes and other considerations. Sometimes, these interests pull against each other, as solving one concern may hurt another. This badge will give you the tools to strategize in a manner that accounts for all relevant considerations.
Best of luck and we welcome your feedback.