Serving Clients in Southside Virginia and the Surrounding Area
Many people have preconceived notions about trusts and believe that they are only for multi-millionaires who wish to leave large trust funds to their children. However, this is far from the truth; trusts can be invaluable tools in the estate plans of millions of individuals!
Trusts are simply an arrangement where one party holds property on behalf of another party. In an estate planning context, trusts are created by the person doing the estate planning (the settlor), who authorizes another person (the trustee) to manage the assets for the benefit of a third party (the beneficiaries). There are many reasons for establishing trusts including tax minimization or providing for the needs of underage beneficiaries.
Some types of trusts that may be useful in estate planning in certain instances are:
Trusts For Minors. Many people leave money to their children or their grandchildren in a trust as part of a comprehensive estate plan. This is typically done to ensure the money is there for the children’s benefit while they are younger-for support, education, medical expenses, etc. Once the children reach a certain age or achievement level (such as obtaining a bachelor’s degree), they may receive money from the trust to do with as they please.
Special Needs or Supplemental Needs Trusts. Special needs trusts are tools that enable a person to leave property to an individual with special needs. Many individuals with special needs receive government benefits. If they were to suddenly inherit money, they would be disqualified in most cases from those benefits until the inheritance was spent. Special needs trusts protect those individuals’ government benefits while allowing them to have money for any extras they may need.
Marital Trusts. Married couples sometimes include trusts in their wills, or separately, for the benefit of their spouse, typically for two reasons: (1) taxes, and (2) property protection. In previous years, marital trusts were needed for some couples to take advantage of estate tax exemptions, and they may be needed in the future as the laws are expected to change. Marital trusts can also protect property from a spouse to ensure that it ultimately goes where it needs to go. For example, a husband with grown children from a previous marriage may decide to let his wife use his property after he passes, but puts it into a trust so that after she passes away it goes to his children.
Revocable Living Trusts. Revocable living trusts are documents completely separate from wills although they often work hand-in-hand with wills to carry out the decedent’s wishes. Revocable living trusts are primarily used to avoid probate in certain states (not Virginia) where probate is particularly cumbersome, or in a few other instances, such as when a person owns real estate in multiple states. However, these types of trusts are not for everyone and these type of trusts do NOTHING to protect your assets in the case of someone going to a nursing home or in regards to their long-term care expenses later on. In fact, it may even complicate Asset Protection in a crisis situation! It is HIGHLY recommended to have a full understanding of the short and long-term consequences of this type of trust before proceeding. Towards that end, be sure to check out this blog article from our website for more information in regards to Revocable Living Trusts.
Irrevocable Life Insurance Trusts. Irrevocable life insurance trusts (or ILIT’s) can be used in order to move a person’s life insurance proceeds outside his or her estate for estate tax purposes.
Spendthrift Trusts. Spendthrift trusts are generally established to protect the beneficiaries’ assets from both themselves and creditors. These trusts usually have an independent trustee which has complete discretion over the distribution of assets of the trust.
As you can see, these are a few examples of many different types of trusts possible, each of which can be customized to serve a valuable purpose in accomplishing the wishes of those making gifts or planning an estate. An experienced estate planning attorney in your area should help you assess your finances and goals to determine the best vehicles to preserve your wealth and your legacy.
Contact us today to schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys and see if a trust is truly right for you and your family! Our firm serves clients all over southside Virginia, and has offices in Danville, Bassett and Lynchburg to serve you!
The Estate & Elder Law Center of Southside Virginia, PLLC serves people with legal needs throughout Virginia, with offices in Bassett, Danville and Lynchburg.
Certified Elder Law Attorney Robert W. Haley and staff are ready to help you with estate planning and medicaid planning. Let our firm put our experience and diligent legal representation to work for you. Contact us today to learn how The Estate & Elder Law Center of Southside Virginia, PLLC can help you.
I have now worked with The Estate & Elder Law Center of Southside Virginia twice. Robert, Ryvonda, Graves, and Cheyenne are all amazing at navigating you through all of the necessary steps in Elder Care and will planning. I would highly recommend them.
- Posted by Angie P., on June 5, 2023
I recently had the pleasure of having my will created with the Estate & Elder Law Center of Southside Virginia, PLLC. To be honest I did not know where to begin. The legal specialist, Cheyenne, offered me a variety of times to meet with Mr. Robert Haley, attorney, to discuss and explain the process. I have to admit Cheyenne was extremely patient and professional every step of the way. Unfortunately, I can be scatter-brained and found myself apologizing for not responding to her emails as quickly as I would have liked, but she maintained a cheerful and encouraging demeanor every step of the way. When I arrived for my first meeting with Mr. Haley I found him to be punctual, prepared, knowledgeable, and friendly. He spent at least an hour listening to my concerns and answering all the questions I had. Within a week Cheyenne sent me the draft of my documents. Once again, it took me a while to review them, and Cheyenne continued to maintain an abundance of grace and patience. Finally, when it was time to sign my documents the notary, Mrs. Cricket Haley, bent over backwards to make the process as convenient for me as possible. All parties reassured me every step of the way that if anything ever needed to be change, I simply needed to contact them and they would follow up accordingly. I must say this law firm is not only efficient, professional, and competent, but they are kind and supportive of the people they serve. If you are seeking this type of representation, I cannot recommend them highly enough.
- Posted by James B., on May 21, 2023
- Posted by Jacob B., on April 26 , 2023
Great people, they made a day I was not looking forward to dealing with turn out just perfect. Robert and his staff are very caring of all your needs. Thanks.
- Posted by Thomas W., on April 16 , 2023
Very friendly and professional.
- Posted by Donna B., on April 15 , 2023
Have referred many families for expert advice about estate planning and asset protection. With senior living many families are unprepared for next steps to make sure mom/dad have adequate care. Estate and Elder law have always delivered the right counsel at the appropriate times.
- Posted by John D., on April 9, 2023
The Estate & Elder Law Center of Southside Virginia, PLLC
62 Google reviews
March 25, 2023.
Many people are uncomfortable, discussing the matter of a will. Mr. Haley and Cheyenne made the process painless. They communicated clearly, and were prompt and courteous. I recommend that anyone in need of
Estate planning consider the estate and elder law center of Southside, Virginia.
March 16, 2023.
The staff was very professional. They went beyond the normal to assist me as needed and explained the procedures being used to complete my legal documents. Customer service was outstanding. I would highly recommend them to my family n friends. Sironia Renee Gilbert
March 8, 2023.
Pleasant professionals made planning clear and understandable.
February 20, 2023.
It was an easy and efficient process handled with professionalism.
February 8, 2023.
I was looking for a law firm that specializes in preparing me to deal with my mother’s needs as well as guidance regarding taking care of my disabled brother. I am very happy with the service, advice and help that Atty. Haley and his firm provided and will recommend them to family and friends.
January 30, 2023.
Services provided by the legal team were thorough and interactions were cordial.
January 6, 2023.
This team is professional and has their act together. I brought a family member here and Robert took time to answer every question. He gave us documents to review and ask more questions. He was very thorough, timely and I am appreciative. I recommend him to everyone.
December 18, 2022.
December 16, 2022.
Very professional office and would definitely recommend to anyone needing assistance to obtain all documents in final stages of life. All of my parents and my worries for them have been taken away. Thank you again for such a fine service
December 7, 2022.
The Estate & Elder Law Center of Southside Virginia, PLLC was a pleasure to work with and extremely informative and helpful. My husband and I received great service and great advice from them. I highly recommend them for all of your estate planning needs for your future to put your worries at rest for planning for your golden years or even a simple will. A special thank you to Robert Haley and Cheyenne Dodson for your help.