A number of important estate planning objectives are accomplished through the establishment of trusts, including minimizing taxes, and avoiding the timely and potentially expensive probate process.
At Ferguson Cohen LLP in Greenwich, Connecticut, our established estate planning attorneys take the time to fully understand your financial objectives for the disbursement of your assets upon your death. Once we have helped you develop a comprehensive plan, we create an estate plan that will put that strategy in place. Often, this includes the use of one or more trusts.
Our attorneys will walk you through the process of selecting a trustee and ensure that your trust is properly funded.
For the convenience of our Connecticut and New York clients, we have offices in Greenwich, White Plains and Bridgehampton.
Increased Control Of Your Assets
A trust essentially is a contract between the person who establishes the trust, also known as the grantor, and the person who will manage the trust on behalf of the beneficiaries, who is known as the trustee. Trusts provide more control than a simple will in terms of how one's assets are distributed.
A trust often is used to control the disposition of funds over time through the trustee to the beneficiaries rather than transfer assets all at once. This may be done because a beneficiary is a minor or a special needs child.
Our firm assists in the creation and implementation of a wide variety of trusts, including:
- Living trusts, which are created while the grantor is alive and can be modified or revoked, as opposed to testamentary trusts, which are created during the grantor's life but do not go into effect until his or her death.
- Irrevocable trusts, which cannot be terminated once they are finalized, as opposed to revocable trusts, which can be terminated up until the time of the grantor's death.
- Supplemental needs trusts, which, as the name suggests, are most often created for a beneficiary who has a disability and can't manage his or her own finances. These trusts allow a beneficiary to remain eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Medicaid.
- Charitable trusts, which are established to benefit a charity and lower an individual's federal estate and gift taxes.
There is a broad variety of trusts; each designed to resolve specific needs. Often, trusts are an effective means of protecting your assets from creditors. Trust can also be used in lieu of prenuptial agreements.
Our knowledgeable estate planning lawyers will explain the advantages and any disadvantages of each type of trust so you can make an informed decision. Contact us to schedule an appointment.