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Opting for flexibility in a trust

Trusts can be an important part of estate planning, helping Nevada residents to achieve their goals with a higher level of customization, control and privacy. However, flexibility can also be an important part of a trust. Tax laws and inheritance laws can change over time, as can individual family relationships. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act drew attention to this issue, as many of its provisions sunset at the end of 2025. This means that Congress will actively need to renew them in order to keep the increased estate tax exemptions and other provisions in place.

People can construct their trusts to benefit from these provisions yet remain flexible if they are not renewed. Trustee discretion is one major mechanism of flexibility when preparing a trust. This means that the beneficiaries are not entitled to distributions; instead, the trustee has discretion to decide when to make them. In this case, it is also important to choose a trustworthy trustee and leave guidelines to determine those decisions. Decanting is another option to adjust a trust. This can help people distribute assets from one trust to a new trust that reflects changes to the family or to estate laws.

A trust protector is another option people can take to create a trust with more flexibility. Separate from the trustee, a protector has powers over the trust, including changing beneficiaries, investment decisions or even the trustee. This option may be a good choice for a trust expected to last for a long period.

People who want to plan from the future of their wealth can benefit greatly from terms that keep trusts flexible. A estate planning attorney can provide advice and guidance in this regard.

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