What you need to do
Key steps to consider, what to watch out for, and ways advisors can help when creating a trust.
Determine Your Goals
Different types of trusts accomplish different goals. Do you want to protect assets during your lifetime, reduce the tax implications of your passing, and/or achieve the transfer of assets outside of the probate process?
Choose the Type of Trust
You will need to choose between a revocable and an irrevocable trust. An irrevocable trust provides broader protection for assets but necessitates giving up substantial control.
Identify a Trustee and Beneficiaries
Your trustee will be responsible for the management of trust assets and will have a fiduciary responsibility. Beneficiaries will reap the benefits of trust creation and the assets transferred to the trust will ultimately transfer to beneficiaries or will be used to provide a benefit to them.
You will need to go through the process of retitling assets so the trustee becomes the new owner. This can have tax implications so it is important to speak with a CPA to understand the consequences of retitling assets so they belong to the trust instead of to you.
- Choosing the wrong type of trust
- Incurring gift taxes or generation-skipping transfer taxes
- Trustee unable to access to funds post-transfer
Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
Take advantage of annual gift tax exclusions and file the right IRS forms to track gifting.
Optimal Assets and Timing
Identify the type of assets and accounts that are best suited to transfer during your lifetime vs. as part of your estate.
What are the implications of transferring a family home, business ownership, or other assets to a trust?
Factor legacy planning into your retirement distribution strategy.
Trust & Estate Attorney
Choose the right type of trust, follow state and federal laws for a legally valid trust.
Holistic Estate Plan
Plan for how your trust will work with other parts of your estate planning and assets.