Bolander Law Group assists clients by evaluating their estates and assisting in the controlling of assets, both before and after death, through careful planning according to clients wishes. We navigate laws governing trusts, estates and gifts, and use our experience to help clients fulfill both short- and long-term goals.
A Trust is a legal arrangement allowing the holding of property by a trustee for the benefit of another person, or for you. By maintaining assets in a trust, an individual can minimize taxes and leave a larger inheritance. A trust can also provide a steady income to the beneficiary over time, rather than a single lump-sum distribution. Trusts can reduce the beneficiary’s taxes and allow the trust to grow through proper investment. Charitable trusts can also be established.
What about assets in the Trust?
A revocable Trust (often referred to as a Living Trust) is similar to a Will, but it is also an agreement between the person creating the Trust (the Trustor or Settlor) and the person or institution you choose to manage your assets (the Trustee). Usually, you would serve as the initial Trustee of your Trust and, upon your incapacity or death, the person or institution you named will be your successor Trustee. Upon creation of the Trust, your assets are re-titled in your name, as Trustee of your Trust (this is called “funding” the Trust). A Trust has many advantages over a Will and is effective upon creation. One of the most attractive advantages of a Trust is that your estate does not have to be probated at your death, saving your family time and money. Your Trust can be changed or revoked by you, during your lifetime, but, upon your death, no one can change or revoke your Trust. Like a Will, you will direct how you want your estate to be distributed at your death. If one of your beneficiaries is disabled or a minor, you can direct that the Trustee pay for their necessities of life, but hold their distribution in trust for them until a certain time, age, or event. Unlike a Will, a Trust is a private document that is not required to be filed with the court. A Trust also protects you from being forced into a conservatorship (a court process in which someone is appointed to handle your financial and personal affairs), if you become incapacitated or unable to manage your own matters. With a Trust, if this happens, the person you have named as your successor Trustee simply assumes the responsibility of managing your Trust assets on your behalf. At your death, the successor Trustee gathers your assets, pays your debts and taxes and distributes the estate as you have directed in the Trust. Any assets not in the Trust at your death are “poured over” (transferred) into the Trust by a Pour-Over Will.