Trusts are a critical estate-planning tool too often overlooked as too complex for use by the average family, or only necessary for the administration of large estates.
The reality is that establishing trusts can have many benefits, including healthcare decision making, bequeathing a family business or other significant property, tax mitigation and planning, caring for children or adults with special needs, and the privacy that comes with administering an estate outside the public process of probate court.
In fact, the many benefits of a trust mean they can often pay for themselves. An estate-planning or trust attorney in Cleveland can help you determine the best uses for you and your family.
Establishing an Ohio Trust
Trusts do not have to be expensive to establish or overly complex and can benefit most estates in a number of ways, including: Reducing income or gift taxes, protecting assets from creditors or other liability, providing income, and protecting the government benefits of beneficiaries with special needs.
Common types of trusts established by trust attorneys in Cleveland:
- Revocable Living Trust: These are the most common types of trusts used to plan estates and manage and protect assets. Most people name themselves as the trustee in order to retain control over the assets, but can name a successor trustee in the event of incapacitation or death. Unlike a Will, you can direct your trustee to continue to manage your assets after your death for the benefit of the beneficiaries instead of distributing the assets to your heirs. A revocable trust allows you to revoke or amend the trust agreement at any time during your life. Such living trusts also allow you to avoid the probate court process.
- Irrevocable Trust: An irrevocable trust offers some advantages over a revocable trust. But once you transfer the assets to the trust, you cannot remove the assets except in accordance with the terms of the trust agreement. However, in some cases these types of trusts offer better protections from creditors and other liabilities and you can establish them in such a way that you still benefit from the income and trust assets during your lifetime.
- Special Needs Trust: A special needs trust can hold assets for a disabled person who qualifies for public benefits. Special needs trusts must be carefully drafted to ensure they comply with all federal and state laws. However, when properly used they allow for those with special needs to benefit without losing critical government benefits like health insurance.
- Retirement Trust: This specialized trust agreement allows you to protect an Individual Retirement Account from creditors and bankruptcy while preserving the funds for your beneficiaries.
Trust Litigation & Estate Disputes
Most trusts are designed to operate outside the supervision of probate court. So when disagreements over trusts arise, it’s critical that you contact an experienced trust attorney in Cleveland as soon as possible.
Common issues that arise with trusts include:
- Disputes between trustees and beneficiaries
- Failure to timely distribute funds
- Theft of assets
- Breach of duty
- Failure to inform
- Ommission of beneficiary
- Undue influence in changing or establishing a trust
- Lack of capacity
The Law Offices of Daniel McGowan, LLC, represents clients in probate and estate matters throughout the Cleveland area, including Lakewood, Rocky River, Fairview Park, Shaker Heights, Cleveland Heights, South Euclid, East Cleveland, Linndale, Brooklyn, Parma, Brook Park. Newburgh Heights, Cuyahoga Heights, Brooklyn Heights, Warrensville Heights, Maple Heights, Garfield Heights, Bratenahl and Euclid.
Call 216-242-6054 today for a free and confidential consultation.