A trust is an estate planning tool that governs how assets are to be managed and sets forth the conditions that determine when cash or assets may be distributed. The intent is that these provisions carry out the wishes of the one who created the trust (Grantor) and would be how he/she would handle things during his/her lifetime. The Grantor creates the terms and chooses the beneficiaries (those who benefit from the trust). The Grantor also selects a trustee to carry out the terms of the trust and to manage the assets of the trust.
Trusts are a legal entity and enjoy specific legal protections that may vary from state to state. They may be funded with many types of assets such as cash, marketable securities, real estate, oil and gas, insurance properties, shares of privately held companies, precious metals and several others. If properly and fully funded, trusts may avoid a costly probate upon death.
Benefits of a trust include:
- Control of estate after death
- Asset retention – directs how assets are to pass to heirs, may protect assets from creditors and lawsuits, and maintains privacy.
- Protection in case of incapacity
- Tax planning – may allow you to shift income tax to beneficiaries in lower tax brackets.
Contact WealthTrust Oklahoma today so that we may help you with these important planning decisions.