Helping Clients Use Trusts to Protect Their Property

When most people think of estate planning, they think of writing a will to indicate how their wealth will be passed on to their posterity. However, the trust is an equally valuable estate planning tool. Trusts offer many benefits, including greater flexibility on how your assets are distributed to beneficiaries and minimizing the estate taxes that must be paid after your death.

Creating a trust can be a highly effective method of protecting your assets and leaving a valuable inheritance, but these documents are also quite complex, requiring the help of a trusts lawyer. Your attorney can better explain the benefits of a trust in your unique situation and help you determine which kind of trust is ideal for you.

At Ashwell & Ashwell, we have decades of combined experience using trusts to help our clients get the asset protection and control they need. We understand that each client is unique and will apply our knowledge of Virginia law to craft the right trust for your circumstances. Call right away to schedule your initial consultation at 540-386-1277 and see how creating a trust can benefit you and your loved ones.

How Does a Trust Work?

When you create a trust, you change the way you own your property. Instead of being held in your name, the assets now belong to the trust itself, giving some unique benefits. Owning a trust can help you enjoy protection from creditors and excess taxes and have greater control over how the assets will be distributed to each friend or family member.

For example, you may indicate that you want a beneficiary to receive a portion of the fund over a long period of time to provide for someone without risking the entire inheritance being spent too quickly. With the many kinds of trusts, you can also leave a legacy of giving by donating to your favorite charity, caring for a loved one with special needs, or even ensuring your beloved pet has long-term care.

Administering a trust can be complex because it requires assigning someone as the trustee who will be responsible for carrying out your wishes regarding your estate. The trustee has certain duties, including:

  • Carrying out their responsibilities in a fiduciary manner, or with the highest degree of loyalty to the grantor and beneficiaries
  • Administering the trust according to the grantor’s wishes
  • Inventorying and managing the funds in the account
  • Alerting beneficiaries to changes and actions regarding the trust as appropriate

If you are the beneficiary or the trustee of a trust, you may benefit from the counsel of a trusts attorney who can advise you on your rights and responsibilities. Call our law firm today for more information about the administration of a trust or to see if setting up a trust is right for you.

What Kinds of Trusts Are There?

One of the greatest advantages of using a trust in your estate plan is the variety of options you get when you set up a trust. An estate planning lawyer like those at Ashwell & Ashwell can help evaluate your unique circumstances to determine whether you should use a trust and which type best matches your needs and goals.

Some of the commonly used trusts in Virginia include the following:

  • Asset protection trust – An asset protection trust is a type of irrevocable trust that offers excellent protection against creditors and predators.
  • Credit shelter trust – These trusts allow couples to pass on an inheritance to an heir free from taxation.
  • Living trust – A living trust is a revocable trust that remains in the control of the grantor, as they may be named trustee. The family can benefit from the privacy these trusts grant and may also avoid probate.
  • Testamentary trust – Testamentary trusts are established in the will document and come into effect after the grantor dies.
  • Spendthrift trust – The spendthrift thrust allows the settlor or grantor to pass on an inheritance little by little so the heir is not tempted to spend the entire fund too quickly.
  • Special needs trust – A special needs trust allows the decedent to provide for a loved one with special needs without interfering with their eligibility for government programs.
  • Irrevocable life insurance trust – Also known as an ILIT, these trusts make it possible for the settlor to assign life insurance benefits to beneficiaries.
  • Charitable trusts – A charitable trust allows the grantor to donate to their favorite charity and minimize the tax burden on the assets

Call our law firm right away to learn more about these and other trusts that can benefit you during the estate planning process.

Should You Hire Our Trusts Attorneys?

Estate planning is a noble venture that allows you to give back to future generations and leave a legacy of generosity. Creating a trust is a wonderful way to leave an inheritance that maximizes the benefits to your loved ones and protects your assets while you are still alive. However, a legal professional should handle these complex documents to avoid tying up assets accidentally. Your attorney can help you choose the right trust for your needs and set up the document so it is legally viable and easy to administer when the time comes.

At Ashwell & Ashwell, we know how important it is for our clients to participate in the decision-making process. We will answer your questions and inform you about your options so you can create an estate plan that perfectly meets your needs. We can help with a trust, will, power of attorney, or any other estate planning document. Our compassionate legal team will explain legal terms in language you can understand so you can fully participate in each decision.

Don’t delay any longer. Take the small step today of scheduling your initial consultation and prepare your estate for the future. Call our caring, capable legal team now at 540-386-1277.


Contact Ashwell & Ashwell, PLLC Offices Today!

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