Estate planning is of crucial importance to adults from all walks of life. This includes individuals with extensive assets as well as people of more moderate means, who nonetheless, have desires regarding the distribution of their property after death.
One area of particular importance is not only bequeathing assets to adult beneficiaries but also protecting them. It is all well and good to give adults loved ones assets upon your death, but it also is prudent to convey that in a manner that protects their interests as well.
Threats to Estate Assets
The reality is that assets passed on to a loved one after your death could end up being taken away from that person under a number of different sets of circumstances. For example, if the individual ended up being sued and lost the case, money that person inherited from you could conceivably be used to pay the judgment in the lawsuit. There are other realistic threats to these assets as well.
Establish a Discretionary Lifetime Trust
One strategy that you can consider employing to not only convey property and money to a loved one, but to protect those assets as well, is establishing what is known as a discretionary lifetime trust. A discretionary lifetime trust is an irrevocable trust that is created while you are still alive.
Although it is irrevocable, there exists a discretionary element that permits you to set certain parameters for which trust assets, in addition to income earned from the trust, can be used for certain purposes. For example, you could include a provision that permits the use of trust assets to pay for a beneficiaries college or university education.
The irrevocable nature of the trust protects the assets from creditors and other third parties who may have an interest in getting their hands on the money of one of your beneficiaries. In simple terms, by including a discretionary lifetime trust in your estate plan, you are able to get your assets to whom you desire, and protect them from third parties at the same time.
Felinton Elder Law and Estate Planning Centers
The process of developing an estate plan suited to your needs, goals and objectives and those of your heirs is complex. The team at Felinton Elder Law and Estate Planning Centers has the experience necessary to create an estate plan that meets your objectives. You can schedule an initial consultation for no obligation by calling us at the Felinton firm today at 301-610-0055.