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Conway Estate Planning Blog

Too many people are shying away from using trusts

Many Arkansas residents may be thinking about what they would like to do with their assets. It is common for older people to begin thinking about asset distribution and how they want their affairs settled after their passing, but really, it is important for individuals of any adult age to give thought to such matters. Similarly, it is important for individuals of any income level to consider using trusts.

Far too many people think that only wealthy parties use trusts or have trust funds. However, a trust is an immensely useful estate planning tool that can protect assets and give more control over asset distribution. If a person wants to leave money to a specific loved one and wants that money to be used for a specific purpose, a trust is a viable way to do just that.

Can a trust help your loved ones avoid probate?

Your whole life you have focused on protecting and providing for your loved ones, and as you have gotten older, you realized you won’t be able to carry out those duties forever. It’s time to start planning for your future—and theirs.

Your children have always been competitive, so you have always been cautiously fair. And knowing an argument could ensue should one child feel they did not receive “their fair share” motivates you to do everything possible to ensure your will, power of attorney, trusts and other estate planning documents designate the distribution of your assets accordingly.

Could a disclaimer trust suit estate planning needs?

Many Arkansas residents want to use their estate plans to protect their assets. This desire is common and wise as estate planning can work to protect assets in various ways. In particular, individuals may use various types of trusts to ensure that their assets are managed the way they desire.

One type of trust that some parties may consider using is a disclaimer trust. This type of trust is created after a person's passing, and the disclaimer is usually left in the person's will. The disclaimer allows the surviving spouse to put assets into the trust without facing taxation as long as he or she disclaims ownership of those assets. The trust could then be used to benefit other parties, such as the deceased's children.

Information is important during trust administration

A trust is a useful tool when it comes to ensuring that assets are distributed or otherwise handled properly after an Arkansas resident's death. Of course, trust administration can be difficult, and it is common for surviving loved ones to have questions after a person's passing. Fortunately, it is typically not difficult to find answers to those questions.

One aspect that some individuals may have an interest in is who sees the details of the trust after the trustmaker's passing. The trustmaker likely appointed someone to act as the successor trustee, and that appointed person will have access to the trust's information. This is necessary so that the successor trustee will know how to properly handle the assets in the trust.

What do international couples need to know about estate planning?

Finding love across cultures and across national borders is a beautiful thing. It takes special people to overcome your differences…and all the paperwork. Unfortunately, like most things related to citizenship, estate planning if you or your spouse is not a U.S. citizen requires careful preparation.

Special needs trusts can prevent unintended mishaps

Having a child with special needs often requires parents to think creatively in many situations. Their child may need to approach certain scenarios differently, and parents may need to find the best approaches for their child. Of course, because parents in Arkansas want to do what is best for their children, they do not want to inadvertently cause financial hardships in the future. Therefore, they may want to consider creating special needs trusts when estate planning.

Often, individuals with special needs receive benefits from the government, such as Medicaid, supplemental security income and others. These benefits are typically based on income, and if it appears that a special needs person has more income, he or she could be disqualified from receiving benefits. This type of mishap could happen if a parent directly leaves an inheritance to a special needs child.

Trusts have many benefits, including easing transitions

When exploring the various ways in which Arkansas residents can create comprehensive and effective estate plans, some may overlook certain planning tools. In particular, it is not uncommon for people to think that they do not need trusts for their plans. However, utilizing this planning option can have many benefits and go a long way in making certain matters easier after a person's passing.

One benefit of a trust is that the funds in the trust do not have to go through probate proceedings. As a result, they do not become inaccessible until the probate process is complete. If a person is named as a beneficiary to a trust, he or she can access the funds soon after the trustmaker's passing, as long as the details of the trust do not stipulate otherwise. This quick access can help individuals who may need funds from the estate to carry out certain tasks.

Trusts could help grandparents leave assets to grandkids

Having children is a wonderful experience, and when Arkansas residents' children have children, they may feel overjoyed to become grandparents. Of course, new additions to families may have older individuals reconsidering their estate plans. They may want to leave assets to these younger generations, and trusts may allow them to do so effectively.

Because minor children cannot directly inherit assets and because young adults can be irresponsible with spending, many grandparents worry about the best ways to leave money to their grandkids. Fortunately, trusts can give individuals the ability to control the assets even after their passing. The assets in a trust do not have to go through probate, and the trustmaker can leave instructions regarding when and how the funds can be used.

Trusts can be useful when wanting to leave a legacy

Most Arkansas residents want to leave something behind for their families after their passing. Fortunately, individuals can utilize estate planning opportunities to detail how they want their legacies to live on. In particular, trusts can be useful tools for ensuring that assets are protected and that the decedent still has a say in the use of those assets.

Many people may not think that creating a trust is for them, particularly because they do not see themselves as wealthy. However, anyone could benefit from using a trust. One of the first steps for getting started is to meet with a financial advisor. This type of professional could help individuals go over their financial goals and how they could potentially set up a financial legacy well into the future.

Estate planning after having a child could include a trust

Anyone who has just had a child can be feeling many emotions. New parents can feel joy, apprehension, worry, excitement and numerous other feelings, and it can sometimes seem overwhelming. Because they want the best for their children, new Arkansas parents may want to look into estate planning and how it can benefit their kids.

One of the most important aspects of estate planning is using a will to name a guardian for the children. If both parents become incapacitated, die or otherwise cannot care for the children, a guardian is needed. By naming a guardian in an estate plan, parents can better ensure that their children will be cared for by a loving and trusted individual rather than being put into the care of someone chosen by the court.

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