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Understanding trusts - revocable, irrevocable and special needs

When a person in Rochester is planning for the future, trusts are an integral part of providing protection for themselves and their loved ones. But there are many different types of trusts to choose from and all have their own advantages and concerns. Three kinds are the revocable trust, an irrevocable trust, and a special needs trust. Knowing which one is the best possible option requires an understanding of their purpose. Having a grasp of this should be priority one before a decision is made on how to move forward.

With a revocable trust, the person will formulate it while he or she is alive. It can be changed at any juncture. Property and assets can be placed in the trust and the person can designate him or herself as the trustee as a method to keep control of the assets. The assets can be added or removed. Also referred to as inter vivos trust or living trust, they will become irrevocable after the person's death. When that happens, the person who was designated as the trustee will take charge. This type of trust is useful as a tax shield, but it will not avoid the estate tax.

An irrevocable trust cannot be changed by anyone once it is created. The assets in the irrevocable trust cannot be taken out. With this in mind, a vast number of people decide to make a trust that is revocable irrevocable at the time of death. There are numerous options with an irrevocable trust and they can help to mitigate taxes. With a special needs trust, a person who is disabled and receiving government assistance can take this option. For example, coming into money can reduce the government benefits. However, the special needs trust is a legal way to protect against that. The assets in the special needs trust are to provide for those needs independent of other income. This can be useful for parents who have a disabled child to make sure the child is cared for when they are no longer there. It can cover a wide variety of issues from simple comfort to medical care.

Those who are considering a trust must make sure that they have a full grasp on what the different types of trusts do. A legal professional is an invaluable asset for this purpose. Since estate planning can be so complex, the first step in moving forward with one of the above-listed types of trusts is to speak to an experienced attorney.

Source: gobankingrates.com, "Revocable Trusts, Irrevocable Trusts and the 6 Other Trust Accounts You Can Open," Terence Loose, Sept. 30, 2016

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