Back to Basics with a Review of Trusts

Estate planning attorneys get asked a lot of questions about how to protect every different kind of family and situation, but the questions that are asked the most tend to be about trusts.  The topic comes up so often, in fact, that it is useful to review basic trust information occasionally, as author John Ventura does so well in this interview for American Public Media’s radio show Marketplace.

Trusts are so useful and versatile that they serve as the backbone of just about every different kind of estate plan; from the plan created by an elderly grandparent, to the one executed by the new young couple.  This isn’t to say that each trust is the same for every estate plan—far from it!  As John Ventura says in his interview, “every person’s life is different, every person’s estate, property, the heirs that they want to benefit are all different, so the living trust has to be customized to the individual.”

This is the beauty of trusts, they are indeed highly customizable.  Ventura describes two different kinds of trusts in his interview; a living trust and a testamentary trust; and touches briefly on a special needs trust, which allows you to pass money to a disabled beneficiary without disrupting that beneficiary’s public benefits.  But trusts provide far more options than those three mentioned above.  Other options include irrevocable trusts, retirement trusts, education trusts, gifting trusts, and many more . . . even pet trusts!

If you are considering creating a will or estate plan, or updating the one you already have, the best thing you can do is to know your options.  Contact our office for more information about trusts, and which of the many trust options may be the right tool to protect your family.