Tag: Trusts

What Are the Advantages of A Retirement Trust?

Saving for retirement is often a delicate topic for many people. Whether they are worried about when to save, how much to save, or how to save, this is one topic that often has many people perplexed about their future. However, today, more and more people are turning to individual retirement trusts as a way to plan for their future. It has specific tax advantages, and long-term control benefits than many other retirement options, which can help you and your financial future.

How Does it Work?

Simply put, a trust is an estate planning tool that lets you set aside funds for certain beneficiaries to receive in the future. They can be managed by a third party, known as a trustee both during your lifetime and after your death.

An IRA, which is the most common retirement saving plan, prepare you for retirement and provide tax advantages until you are 70 ½ and need to start taking distributions from the account.

When these two come together in an individual retirement trust, you can enjoy the tax advantages with an IRA and the long-term control that comes with a trust. It allows you to bypass many of the complex IRS requirements and helps protect your legacy from asset seizure in the future.

How Do I Set Up a Retirement Trust?

The best way to set up a retirement trust is by meeting with an attorney that specializes in estate planning. While many individuals are able to take advantage of the unique benefits of retirement trusts, they aren’t necessarily for everyone. In most situations, individuals who have significant retirement assets, are tax-sensitive, have been divorced and remarried and those with blended families all find unique perks of retirement trusts.

An attorney will be able to go through your individual situation and make sure you have a trust put in place that not only benefits you but any trustees you may have as well. Since every situation and every individual is different, the insight from an estate-planning attorney is necessary if you want to make sure you are making the right decision for you and your family.

When planning for your future, the best thing you can do is rely on the expertise of estate planning to make certain that you are not only making smart financial decisions for your present situation but that you are setting up your beneficiaries even after you pass. Since trusts can be manipulated to fit your individual needs, together with an estate planning attorney, you can set up specific trusts that meet your requirements for today and your plans for the future.

Proper estate planning can ensure you will stay financially sound well into your retirement while you still maintain some control over how your heirs are receiving their inheritance, even after you are gone.

If you have questions about individual retirement trusts, you need to consult a professional attorney for more advice. Call the experts at Hegwood Law Group a call at (218) 218-0880, for all of your estate planning needs.

Trusts Can Protect Your Heirs from Themselves

Making plans to give your heirs a financial inheritance can be an overwhelming process for any individual. While most people want to make sure their heirs are well taken care of, there are always concerns with giving a family member, child or grandchild a sizeable amount of money. This is especially true for anyone who has reservations about their heirs’ ability to manage money or for those with past debt issues. Along with the other concerns like tax implications, legal considerations and IRS stipulations that need to be kept in mind when protecting your heirs and giving them a significant amount of money.

How Can a Trust Help?

Trusts are a legal way to help protect heirs when they receive a sizable amount of money so that they can make smart financial decisions for themselves now and far into their future.

Your Trust Options

Depending on your retirement plan and other existing accounts, different types of trusts may help your heirs receive money in a more managed way– even if you are no longer there to help control it. Here are a few examples of trusts that are options to you;

  • IRA Trust: Designed to prevent an heir from receiving money outright from their benefactor’s IRA, should the account owner die. Without a trust in place, an heir can treat an inherited IRA as a type of account they can draw from as they want to, as long as they take a required minimum amount of distributions under the rule of the IRS. IRA Trusts also give your heir asset protection that they don’t have in all states.
  • Revocable Trusts: Allows you to retain control of all the assets in the trusts and you are free to revoke or change the terms of the trust at any time, which can be helpful if your heir’s behavior or actions change at any given moment.
  • Asset Protection Trusts
  • Beneficiary Trusts

With your options in mind, the best course of action is always to seek professional legal counsel when creating a trust that works explicitly for your situations and your heirs. Estate planning can be stressful and at times emotional process, but when it comes to trusts, an experienced attorney can help make sure you have a system in place that keeps the best interest of your heirs in mind, even if they don’t realize it at the time.

Trusts allow you to control how and when the money is spent

The individual setting up the trust can make sure that any trust money will be used positively to help the beneficiary make smart spending choices. Benefactors who are young, or who may have a proclivity for poor spending can be protected in trusts with specific rules and stipulations that can help ensure the money is given to these individuals in a controlled way, instead of allowing the heir to withdraw and use the money as they want, on a whim.

Estate planning can be complicated. Taking the time to make a trust for your heirs is a smart way to ensure they are getting financial support in controlled and responsible manner. If you have questions about the benefits of trusts or estate planning in general, please feel free to give the experts at Hegwood Law Group a call at (218) 218-0880.



Choosing Legal Guardians for Kids When Mom and Dad are Divorced | Houston Wills Lawyer

As a Houston wills lawyer, I can not state emphatically enough how important it is for all parents to create a comprehensive plan that will protect their children should the unthinkable occur.

But what happens if you are divorced and can not come to an agreement with your ex-spouse as to who should raise your kids if something happens to you? Should you go ahead and document your own guardianship wishes anyway? And just whose wishes would hold up in court?

In most cases, if your child’s biological parent is still living at the time of your death and you share custody, your children will be raised by the surviving parent, unless there is some clear reason why that should not happen.

There is nothing you can do about this unless you can prove that the child’s biological parent is unfit to raise your child and make a compelling case as to why your guardianship nominations should be honored under the circumstances.

Examples of this might include a severe drug addiction, criminal past or a history of abuse.

However, if this is unlikely, the next best thing to do is name guardians anyway so that your wishes for the care of your children will be known and taken into consideration should your ex-spouse also pass away before your kids reach the age of 18.

This is especially important in the event your ex-spouse did not legally document his or her guardianship wishes upon passing, as your wishes would then be given priority over, say, an unwilling step-parent (just think back to the Cinderella story for a chilling example of this).

Finally, if you are a single parent and have concerns not only about guardianship but also concerning your ex-spouse handling any assets you would leave to your kids if you passed away first, I encourage you to meet with a Houston wills lawyer right away so you can protect such funds in a trust. If you need help getting started with this, please feel free to give us a call at Hegwood Law Group and request a consultation: (218) 218-0880.


Be Organized and Ready When Meeting With Your Houston Trust and Estates Attorney

Estate planning does not have to be a long, complicated process. Before you meet with a Houston Trust and Estates attorney there are certain documents you may want to bring with you.  Having these documents with you at your initial meeting can greatly simplify the process.

First, you will want to create a list of all your assets and liabilities. Everyone will need to do this at some point during the estate planning process and the sooner you get this completed, the sooner your estate plan will be finalized. If there is something you forget it to list, it is not the end of the world and your Houston estate lawyer will recognize the error. Here are some common assets and liabilities you will want to include:

  • Any bank accounts. Having recent statements is a great way to go.
  • Investment accounts
  • Stocks and bonds
  • Life insurance and Annuity policies
  • Deeds for properties you own
  • Retirement plans
  • Business partnerships or LLC interests
  • Money owed to you
  • Personal effects
  • Loans and credit

You will also want to determine who will inherit your estate. A Houston Trust and Estates attorney can help you narrow down candidates, but at the end of the day those decisions will be made by you. If there are certain items or properties that you want a specific person to receive, let your estate lawyer know. Also, if you have someone in mind to act as the executor, guardian for minor children, or medical power of attorney, let your Houston estate lawyer know so they can begin creating those legal documents.

By doing these things in advance, you will have a great head start. The result is a more streamlined process and a stronger sense of control over the planning of your estate. Both you and your lawyer will benefit from from clear, concise communication. To set up your consultation today please call the Hegwood Law Group at (281) 218-0880.