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Advantages Of Having A Trust
  • Privacy: Trusts, unlike wills, do not have to be filed with the court. As such, trusts do not become part of public record. Privacy is one of the main reasons people of means choose to pass their property through trusts.
  • Control: Trusts allow the deceased person the ability to control his or her money for years, sometimes decades, into the future. A will only allows the deceased person to control who receives his or her property. People who make trusts (“settlors”) can decide to stretch out distribution over time, only allow distributions for certain reasons, or can divide the interests in their property between different beneficiaries.
  • Taxes: Setting up a trust can help settlors reduce gift and estate taxes that may be owed. Once property is put in a trust irrevocably, the transfer of property is complete. What this means for tax purposes is if you fund an irrevocable trust with $1,000,000 and over the course of your life the trust grows to $2,000,000, you will only owe gift or estate tax on the gift when it was completed so $1,000,000. For more on the federal estate and gift tax, see this post.
  • Asset protection: Most trust contain provisions called spendthrift provisions. Spendthrift provisions protect the trust assets from being claimed by creditors. Most spendthrift provisions do not allow a creditor to place a claim or lien on a beneficiary’s interest nor do they allow a beneficiary to assign his or her interest to a creditor.

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