If you are worried that disappointed heirs could contest your will or trust after you die, one option is to include a “no-contest clause” in your estate planning documents. A no-contest clause provides that if an heir challenges the will or trust and loses, then he or she will get nothing. A no-contest clause may…

Parents and other family members who want to pass on assets during their lifetimes may be tempted to gift the assets.  Although setting up an irrevocable trust lacks the simplicity of giving a gift, it may be a better way to preserve assets for the future. A trust is a legal entity under which one…

All trusts should be reviewed every few years to make sure that they are up-to-date with the law and meet your current goals. Following is a checklist of trust features you can review yourself and consult estate planning lawyers if necessary.  But be aware that these only refer to revocable “living” trusts, not to irrevocable…

One of the most important decisions a special needs trust’s donor (the person who supplies the funds for the trust) makes is the choice of a trustee for the trust. A trustee typically manages the day-to-day operations of the trust, often making distributions to the trust’s beneficiary, investing the trust’s assets, and paying the trust’s…

A trust is a legal arrangement through which one person (or an institution, such as a bank or law firm), called a “trustee,” holds legal title to property for another person, called a “beneficiary.” Trusts fall into two basic categories: testamentary and inter vivos. A testamentary trust is one created by your will, and it…

Being a trustee for a living trust is a big responsibility and if you don’t perform your duties properly, you could be personally liable. That’s why it’s important to hire the right estate planning lawyers  to guide you in this important role. A trust is a legal arrangement through which one person (or an institution,…

Everyone has heard the terms “will” and “trust,” but not everyone knows the differences between the two. Both are useful estate planning devices that serve different purposes, and both can work together to create a complete estate plan. One main difference between a will and a trust is that a will goes into effect only…

A revocable living trust (RLT), which is a commonly used estate planning solution, allows for the alteration of the trust should need arise. It is distinguishable from the irrevocable living trust which cannot be easily altered. But what exactly are RLTs, who is affected by them, how can they be changed, and what do they…

Trust protectors — long popular in offshore trusts set up by high rollers — are growing more common in trusts established here in the U.S. by less affluent folks. A trust protector is someone who is appointed to watch over a trust that will be in effect for a long time and ensure that it…

Beezer the cat can be a member of the family, but what happens to Beezer or [insert your pet’s name] after you are gone? How can you ensure your pet will be cared for? One option is to create a pet trust. While you can give directions in your will to leave your pet to…

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