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Benefits of Setting Up a Trust

Trusts are an important part of your estate plan when you want to leave money to your minor children. Trusts ensure that money, managed by a trustee, is set aside and made available to them when they reach [more…]

What Is a Trust?

A trust agreement is a document that spells out the rules that you want followed for property held in trust for your beneficiaries. Common objectives for trusts are to reduce the estate tax liability, [more…]

Avoiding Estate Taxes with an Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust

One common way to get around estate taxes on your life insurance is to create an irrevocable life insurance trust. You transfer the ownership of your life insurance policy to the trust, effectively taking [more…]

Estate Planning with Protective Trusts to Cover Your Assets

Protective trusts — spendthrift, supplemental needs and special needs, education, and minor’s trusts — let you parcel out money when you feel the time is right or specify exactly how the trust money is [more…]

What Are Grantor-Retained Trusts All About?

Grantor-retained trusts let you create a “noncharitable” trust. Instead of the property in the trust eventually going to a charitable organization, the property goes to [more…]

Trust Fund Payment Plans: Intervivos and Testamentary

A trust that makes annual payments to a beneficiary while you’re still alive is an intervivos trust. If you set up a trust to become effective and start making payments after your death, you’ve set up [more…]

What Are Charitable Trusts All About?

Setting up a charitable trust to leave property to a qualified charitable organization can reduce your estate taxes similar to the way giving gifts to charitable organizations offers the charitable deduction [more…]

Documents Needed to Transfer Assets into a Trust

When the grantor of a trust is alive, the trustee’s first step is to transfer assets into the trust. As trustee, before you begin to transfer these assets into the trust, you must have key documents handy [more…]

How to Transfer Cash and Securities into a Trust

Two assets that trustees commonly use to fund a living grantor’s trust are cash and securities. The ownership records of securities held in street name are maintained by the bond- or stock-issuing financial [more…]

Funding Trusts with Stocks, Promissory Notes, and Limited Partnership Interests

Many grantors set up trusts with the intent to fund them with non-publicly traded securities, such as privately held stocks, promissory notes, and limited partnership interests. [more…]

How Are Family Trustees and Independent Trustees Similar and Different?

Every trust must have a fiduciary, in this case, a trustee, to administer the trust assets. The two major types of trustees are independent trustees and family trustees. In general, both independent trustees [more…]

How to Read a Trust Instrument and Create a Trust Plan

After you’ve been named as trustee of a trust, you will need to understand the trustee’s duties and powers as soon as possible in order to create a plan for administering the trust. The conditions of the [more…]

What Are a Trustee’s Fiduciary Duties?

As a trustee, you have a fiduciary duty to the trust. You must always act in accordance with the terms of the trust instrument. Your attorney can advise you as to the law regarding your duties and limitations [more…]

What Are a Trust's Principal and Income?

A trust has two components, the principal and the income. The principal is all the property that’s available to produce ordinary income like dividends, interest, or rents. As you make payments, some may [more…]

How to Use Investment Advisors Wisely for a Trust

Investment advisors can make your life as trustee easier. They spend all their professional time researching companies and reading balance sheets and annual reports. Their job is to be on top of whatever [more…]

How to Notify Trust Beneficiaries

If the creator of a trust fails to notify the beneficiaries of the existence of this trust during his or her lifetime, then the administrator of his or her estate must notify them. Establish a reliable [more…]

How to Formalize Your Selection of an Estate Attorney

After you have researched attorney credentials, interviewed estate lawyers, and discussed pricing, you will be ready to make a final decision on an attorney to assist with the administration of your estate [more…]

How to Submit a Trust’s Final Income Tax Returns

You can’t walk away from your duties as trustee until and unless you’ve filed a final Form 1041, U.S. Income Tax Return for Estates and Trusts. Before terminating the trust, you will need to ensure that [more…]

What Are Key Bond Terms for a Trust?

Investing in bonds can be one of the safest and easiest ways to invest, yet many people shy away from these investments because they may not understand all the words used in their descriptions. This article [more…]

How to Diversify Mutual Funds for a Trust

In a mutual fund, a group of like-minded investors pool their money, hire an advisor, and allow the advisor to invest the pooled cash in a way that’s been determined by the investors. In exchange for the [more…]

How to Satisfy Cash on Hand Needs for a Trust

As much as you want to maximize the income being earned by the trust’s principal, you need to keep some cash on hand at all times for both expected and unexpected expenses. Expected expenses include scheduled [more…]

How to Manage Real Estate for a Trust

Often, the grantor’s residence may end up in the trust, either during lifetime or after the grantor’s death. Or, the grantor may have held interests in either residential or commercial real estate, either [more…]

How to Manage Small Business Stocks for a Trust

Whether a trust receives small business stock during the grantor’s lifetime or as part of the decedent’s estate rolled into the trust after death, you may find yourself holding a substantial interest in [more…]

How to Transfer Real Estate into a Trust

A grantor may choose to transfer real property into a trust. For trustees, funding a trust with real estate involves transferring the property’s title, drafting a new deed and getting it signed, and assuming [more…]

How to Fund a Trust after a Grantor’s Death

Often, trusts are created during the grantor’s lifetime, but they aren’t funded until after the grantor dies. If you’re a trustee of such a trust, there are certain steps to take to transfer assets into [more…]


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