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Trusts can prevent estate planning headaches

Trusts are among the most flexible and useful instruments available to Nevada residents when it comes to estate planning. There are a number of different types, including some that are designed for specific purposes, like testamentary trusts, marital trusts and life insurance trusts. Bypass trusts and qualified personal residence trusts are also types that exist to serve a particular goal.

The provisions of a testamentary trust are contained in a will. This type of trust comes into existence on the death of the testator. Testamentary trusts need not be funded during the testator's life. Marital trusts are usually designed for the benefit of the surviving spouse, and they often include terms for the benefit of the children as well. Life insurance trusts are a type of irrevocable trust, meaning that they cannot be altered after their creation. A life insurance trust may allow the estate of the deceased to avoid estate taxes with regard to a life insurance policy.

Individuals who would like to take advantage of the lifetime exemption from paying estate taxes might consider setting up a bypass trust. They are designed so a surviving spouse can access assets as necessity dictates, with children or others designated as the ultimate beneficiaries. Qualified personal residence trusts can be written to hold residential real property, typically the family home. The trust sets forth a fixed period of time during which the settlor continues to live in the residence and after which the residence goes to the trust beneficiary.

A QPRT may allow the beneficiary discounts on gift and estate taxes. An attorney might be able to help individuals in Nevada who have questions about the use of a trust as part of an estate plan. An attorney with experience in estate planning might examine the client's specific goals and circumstances and suggest trust instruments that may be appropriate.

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