Making a Trust

Maybe you’re thinking about how to better manage your property, or you want to make sure your family will be taken care of after you’re gone. If you’re having these thoughts, you might want to think about setting up a trust. A trust is basically a transfer of legal title from the owner (the grantor, trustor, or settlor) to an institution or person (a trustee). The trustee then administers the trust according to the trust terms for the benefit of a beneficiary. There are various factors to consider when setting up a trust. These factors include the size of the estate, the age, and marital status of the grantor.

Making a Trust

In this section you can find helpful tips and information on how to amend an existing trust, how to choose a trustee, and how a trust ends. You can also find articles giving guidance on how to put money and other assets – such as stocks and property – into a living trust, and instances in which setting up a trust may not be necessary.

What is a Trust?

A trust is an estate planning tool that can be used while you’re alive or for the benefit of your heirs. Each state has it’s own laws governing trusts but several states have adopted the Uniform Trust Code, making their laws very similar. There are several types of trusts. Living trusts, AB trusts, charitable trusts are all just a few types of trusts available to people. The type of trust you’ll want to set up will depend on what you would like to achieve with the trust.

Is a Living Trust Necessary?

Living trusts have many benefits but they also have some drawbacks. For example, a living trust involves routine maintenance and is harder to change than a will. In addition, it’s best to use an attorney when setting up a living trust, which can be expensive. These drawbacks can be outweighed by the benefits of a living trust depending on certain factors – such as age, marital status, and estate size.

A person who is under the age of 55 and healthy, probably doesn’t need a living trust because of it takes a decent amount of time and energy to maintain a trust. Marriage can also be a factor when deciding whether or not to set up a living trust. If married couples plan on leaving their property to each other, there are mechanisms in place for an easy transfer of assets after the death of one spouse. Finally, the size of the estate is also a factor in whether it’s a good idea to set up a living trust. Smaller estates generally don’t have a problem going through the probate process, making a living trust unnecessary.

Hiring a Lawyer

A trust can be fairly easy to set up, so a lawyer is not always necessary. However, a person with a large or complex estate or a unique situation may want to consult with an estate planning attorney for help with setting up a trust. Regardless of the size of estate, it might be a good idea to talk to an estate planning attorney if you have questions or concerns about setting up a trust.

Free Consultation with a Trust Lawyer in Utah

If you are here, you probably need a trust. If so, call Ascent Law for your free trust 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


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Medicaid and Trusts

For the person who is not a multi-millionaire, the greatest threat to the estate is not probate. It is not estate taxes. The greatest threat is nursing home costs. It is for this reason that estate planning is essential to protect your assets from Medicaid liens should you ever require long term care. With careful Medicaid planning, you may be able to preserve some of your estate for your children or other heirs while meeting the Medicaid asset limits.

Medicaid and Trusts

Some individuals believe that transferring assets is a viable method of protecting ones assets. The problem with transferring assets is that you have given them away. You no longer control them, and even a trusted child or other relative may lose them. A safer approach is to put them in a trust.

A trust is a legal entity under which one person — the “trustee” — holds legal title to property for the benefit of others — the “beneficiaries.” The trustee must follow the rules provided in the trust instrument. Whether trust assets are counted against Medicaid’s resource limits depends on the terms of the trust and who created it.

A trust is either revocable, meaning it can be changed or ended by the trustor at anytime, or irrevocable, which is typically permanent and unalterable.

Revocable Trust

A “revocable” trust is one that may be changed or rescinded by the person who created it. Medicaid considers the principal of such trusts (that is, the funds that make up the trust) to be assets that are countable in determining Medicaid eligibility. Thus, revocable trusts are of no use in Medicaid planning.

Irrevocable Trust

An “irrevocable” trust is one that cannot be changed after it has been created. In most cases, this type of trust is drafted so that the income is payable to you (the person establishing the trust, called the “grantor”) for life, and the principal cannot be applied to benefit your or your spouse. At your death the principal is paid to your heirs.

This way, the funds in the trust are protected and you can use the income for your living expenses. For Medicaid purposes, the principal in such trusts is not counted as a resource, provided the trustee cannot pay it to you or your spouse for either of your benefits. However, if you do move to a nursing home, the trust income will have to go to the nursing home.

Testamentary trusts

Testamentary trusts are trusts created under a will. The Medicaid rules provide a special “safe harbor” for testamentary trusts created by a deceased spouse for the benefit of a surviving spouse. The assets of these trusts are treated as available to the Medicaid applicant only to the extent that the trustee has an obligation to pay for the applicant’s support. If payments are solely at the trustee’s discretion, they are considered unavailable.

Remember, Medicaid is a joint federal-state program. While there are some federal guidelines, states have some of their own qualification guidelines, so it is important to check the laws in your state and to consult a qualified attorney when setting up the trust.

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


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