A Trust Could Help You Now

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A Trust Could Help You Now

Trusts are powerful instruments that have many good uses; but Trusts are also the most misunderstood and exploited instrument in the Trusts & Estates attorney’s toolbox. Wills are a close second. In both cases there are scads of lawyers, professionals, and websites that will promise to help write a Will or establish a Trust. Problem is, just because your cousin is a lawyer, that doesn’t mean your cousin will draft a good Will or an effective Trust. A cheap Will is not always an effective Will. Just because the operators of a financial seminar sold you an expensive “ Revocable Living Trust ” as your super-planning probate-and-lawyer-avoiding document, that does not mean the Trust will work for your planning needs.

Trusts are great, if utilized correctly. Here are just a few examples:

● If you’re entering an upper tax bracket this year, congratulations. You’ll probably have to pay more income tax, unless you reduce your taxable income before filing your tax return. A Trust could help here.

● When a life insurance policy pays out to beneficiaries under age 18, a Trust must be created by law for management of the Minor's insurance monies.

● When the in-laws or step-family is ready to pounce on the possessions and divide the assets of the soon-to-pass family money-maker, a private Trust agreement to handle the distribution is often the best way to keep out the greedy brood. A Trust agreement is private whereas a Will is public once it’s filed for Probate.

● If your friend needs to qualify for assistance, like Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) or Supplemental Income, a Trust can often be the recipient of enough income to lower the reportable income of the applicant to qualify for the assistance.

● If a person receives a lump sum settlement check for disability insurance, often there is a big income tax IRS bill that comes with the check. If the check is paid to a trust for the person’s benefit and with specific standards, then the tax bill may be deferred or never assessed.

● If you are under creditor attack and are about to receive an inheritance or other lump sum, a Trust benefiting you, would be the better recipient of the inheritance because the creditors cannot touch it.

● Other purposes include sheltering monies for a surviving spouse; Management of monies for surviving children; benefiting a charity; creating a legacy.

Trusts are not just for the management of a wealthy decedent’s estate. They can help people just like you and me.

* Robert S. Meyring, of Meyring Law Firm offers free 10 minute phone evaluations at 678-217-4369. The Meyring Law Firm is located 200 feet east of the railroad crossing on Paces Ferry Road, Atlanta. More information at www.MeyringFirm.com.