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Trusts: Protecting your assets and estate

Trusts are great for protecting your assets and making sure beneficiaries get what you'd like them to have from your estate. Trusts can protect your estate from high taxes and provide other benefits as well.

There are many kinds of trusts that you could look into setting up. Some of them include:

  • Revocable trusts
  • Irrevocable trusts
  • Constructive trusts
  • Tax bypass trusts
  • Special needs trusts
  • Spendthrift trusts
  • Totten trusts

....and there are others as well.

The kind of trust you choose should be based on the specific factors that affect your estate. Do you have a loved one with a disability whom you want to provide for? A special needs trust might be the right option. Do you have an estate worth millions that could end up facing the estate tax? The tax bypass trust might be a good choice for that situation.

When can you set up a trust?

You can set up a trust at any point during your lifetime. Interestingly, your trust can also be established upon death if it's created by your will.

How does a trust help protect your assets against taxation?

Not all trusts do, but those that do provide protection by taking your assets out of your name. By doing that, you no longer have ownership over money or assets, removing them from the total value of your estate.

When you put assets into a trust, the trust takes ownership in many cases. That means that you may be unable to remove them from the trust (like in the case of the irrevocable trust).

What should you do if you'd like to set up a trust?

Setting up the right kind of trust is the most important step. If you'd like to set up a trust, make sure you write down and have documentation of your assets. Then, take copies of those assets to your Cocoa attorney. Your attorney can talk to you about the many different types of trusts and suggest the kind of trust that is most likely to benefit you in your current situation.

If you'd like to establish a trust upon death, that's also something you can discuss when you meet with your attorney. They can help you adjust your will to include the terms of the new trust, and if you don't have a will yet, they can help you set it up and protect yourself and family through that important document.

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