Trust Types

Trust Types

A trust can be an important tool for anyone looking for help managing money and property during his or her lifetime. A trust can also be a good tool to use in planning what will happen to your money and property when you pass away because a trust can allow your family to inherit from you without having to go through the long and expensive probate process. Finally, trusts can provide various tax benefits, including lowering your overall tax liability in some circumstances.

Living Trusts

Living trusts are trusts that are created during the lifetime of the person who set up the trust – usually referred to as the grantor or settlor. The grantor sets up an arrangement in which a person (the trustee) manages and administers the trust property for the benefit of a beneficiary. The most common reason for a living trust is to avoid the probate process, which is required to administer a will. A living trust is a good option for a parent who wants to provide some income and security for his or her child, but doesn’t believe that the child could handle the full amount of property responsibly. Finally, a living trust can also help an individual to reduce taxes and regulate the use of his or her assets, which can be important if the settlor ever becomes incapacitated.

Tax Benefits of Trusts

Most trusts come with various tax incentives. There can be reduced estate taxes, for example, for more complicated living trusts. Another type of trust that has tax benefits is the AB or marital bypass trust. The AB trust is only available to married couples and it allows them to maximize their federal estate tax exemption. The basic idea is that upon one spouse’s death, his or her property goes into an irrevocable trust (trust A) and the surviving spouse’s share goes into trust B. The irrevocable trust can be used for the benefit of the surviving spouse, even though he or she doesn’t actually own the property. Once the surviving spouse dies, the couple’s children are able to receive the property from both trust A and trust B without having to pay taxes.

Charitable trusts

The most common being a charitable remainder trust – also provide tax benefits. In a charitable remainder trust, a settlor sets up a trust and puts the money he or she wants to give to charity, which must be approved by the IRS, in that trust. The charity serves as the trustee and pays a portion of the accumulated income of the trust funds back to the grantor, or other named person. The trust terminates upon the grantor’s death and the property donated will go to the charity. One major benefit to the grantor’s heirs is that the money and property in a charitable trust is not included when determining the deceased person’s estate tax.

Hiring a Lawyer

A trust involves a lot of paperwork and can be difficult to set up properly. Trusts have various rules and requirements in order to be valid, and an experienced estate planning attorney would make sure you comply with the necessary rules. In addition, an attorney can help you choose and set up the type of trust that will best fit your needs.

Free Consultation with a Utah Estate Planning Lawyer

If you are here, you probably have an estate issue you need help with, call Ascent Law for your free estate law consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

Ascent Law LLC

4.9 stars – based on 67 reviews


Recent Posts

Special Needs Trusts

Different Types of Adoption

Where to File for Divorce

Can I Keep Animals and File Bankruptcy?

Investment Bank Vice President Charged with Insider Trading

Legal Separation vs. Divorce

Trusts or Special Power of Appointment

Trusts or Special Power of Appointment

Once a lawsuit is filed against you and a plaintiff’s attorney discovers the existence of a domestic trust, the outcome of the suit is left to a judge or jury.  Make no mistake about it, a special power of appointment cannot protect assets held in a domestic trust if a judge or jury decides to find an exception to the law or, worse, if the judge or jury decides to make an example of your situation.  Leaving your fate to the judgment of strangers is dangerous.  Deterring litigation and keeping control is a better

Offshore Asset Protection Puts You in Control

The main problem with relying solely on a special power of appointment is that assets held in trust and the trust itself are subject to the jurisdiction of the U.S. court system.  If a U.S. court decides to disregard a trust, the assets held by that trust are easily accessible.  That’s not where you want to find yourself.  Offshore asset protection removes both the trust and the assets held in trust from the reach of domestic judges.

Cook Islands Trust Law Deters Litigation

Consider an example from the Cook Islands. If Mr. Jones sets up a trust in the Cook Islands and is later sued, plaintiff’s attorneys are not likely to attack the trust for a number of reasons.  First, the only way to invalidate a trust in the Cook Islands is with a judgment from a Cook Islands’ court.  The Cook Islands will not recognize such a judgment from a U.S. court.  The only way for a plaintiff’s attorney to get such a judgment is to sue in the Cook Islands, which is incredibly expensive, since it requires plaintiff’s to front all the expenses of litigation and does not allow plaintiff’s attorneys to collect contingency fees.

In other words, attorneys attacking a trust in the Cook Islands have to either bill their clients by the hour or work for free (after fronting the cost of international litigation), both of which are expensive propositions.  Other benefits include a hard two year statute of limitations, which means that Cook Islands trust cannot be attacked after it is has been in existence for two years!

Special Power of Appoint Revisited

It is true, as we wrote previously, that a special power of appointment contained in a domestic trust provides some level of asset protection.  It does not, however, provide comprehensive asset protection.  A savvy plaintiff’s attorney will easily be able to discover the existence of such a trust, unless you are willing to lie under oath, which is never advisable.  In addition, plaintiffs lawyers have incentives to attack domestic trusts, which leaves the assets in such trusts subject to the whims of the U.S. legal system.

An offshore asset protection trust makes litigation very expensive and, therefore, deters lawsuits in the first place.  Even if an offshore trust is attacked, the laws in many foreign jurisdictions are stacked so in favor of asset protection that an adverse judgment is almost inconceivable.

Combining Forces Offshore & Power of Appointment

While an offshore trust provides the most comprehensive form of protection in itself, there is nothing to prevent you from seeking to combine that protection with a special power of appointment.  If you have questions about how to accomplish that goal, ask an asset protection attorney.

Free Consultation with a Utah Estate Lawyer

If you are here, you probably have an estate issue you need help with, call Ascent Law for your free estate law consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

Ascent Law LLC

4.9 stars – based on 67 reviews


Recent Posts

Common Divorce Myths

Can I Pay Back Family Before I File Bankruptcy?

Custody Problems

My Credit Card Company is Suing Me

Child’s School Consistency in Divorce

Contested Guardianship Cases in Utah