Using trusts as part of an estate plan

On Behalf of | Jan 3, 2019 | Estate Planning

Many estate planners in Nevada want to take advantage of the higher level of flexibility and autonomy offered by trusts. However, they may have questions about how trust instruments work, especially where they differ from wills. For example, some may wonder if they can create a second trust and if it will affect the first trust they created. On the other hand, a new will usually explicitly revokes prior wills; it’s only possible to have one valid will at a time.

However, trusts are different. While a will is meant to dispose of all of a person’s remaining property, trusts must be funded with specific assets. Two trusts cannot control the same assets at the same time, in general. However, in some cases, an estate owner may want to create separate trusts for different types of property and serving different purposes. If one wants to change the way they are distributing property in a trust, they could revoke the original trust. However, they could also simply amend the trust while keeping it intact. The creator of a trust can even perform a restatement or complete amendment of the trust to entirely change the way that property will be handled.

In some cases, one may want to create a separate trust to receive their life insurance proceeds, especially if they are passing along a substantial estate that may be subject to taxes. Another separate trust option that an estate owner may pursue is a special needs trust. This provides assets to support an adult child with special needs while preserving eligibility for government benefits.

There are a number of ways that people can use trusts to help provide for their loved ones. An estate planning attorney can work with a client to create a plan and develop the documents that can help them achieve their goals.