A living trust, also known as a revocable trust or a family trust, is a trust you establish during your lifetime. Most people establish living trusts with several goals in mind, setting forth how they wish their assets to be distributed upon death and avoiding probate. What many attorneys forget to make clear to their clients, however, is that a Living Trust can only do its job if it is funded.
What does it mean to fund a trust? Funding is the process of transferring the ownership of your property or changing the beneficiary designations on your property into the name of your trust. Unless … Read the rest
Often people come to our office seeking a basic estate plan. While there is no such thing as one size fits all in estate planning, there are basic documents that everyone should consider.
Last Will and Testament-
As discussed in the previous post, http://www.perlalaw.com/blog/the-4-major-pitfalls-of-not-having-a-will/ failing to execute a valid will has a number of draw backs. Wills give you the opportunity to set out who will inherit your estate. Without a valid Will, your estate will be distributed according to Ohio law rather than your wishes. A valid Will also gives you the … Read the rest
Fiduciary duties are duties owed by a Trustee to the Beneficiaries of a Trust. One of those duties is the duty of Impartiality. Impartiality means that if a Trust has two or more beneficiaries, the Trustee has a duty to treat all beneficiaries fairly. Fairly does not necessarily mean equally; It all depends on the terms of the Trust. The terms of a Trust can state that one beneficiary should be favored over another. For example, when the beneficiaries of a Trust are a spouse and children, the spouse is often favored during her lifetime. If that is the case, then the Trustee… Read the rest
An advancement is a gift given during life to a future heir with the intent that the gift be treated as part of the heir’s inheritance. For example, a Mother has a Last Will and Testament stating that $50,000 will go to her daughter and $50,000 will go to her son. While living, Mother gives a $20,000 advancement to her son. Upon Mother’s death, the son will receive $30,000 and the daughter will receive $50,000. As the son received $20,000 of his inheritance during life, he will receive $20,000 less upon his Mother’s death.
An advancement is only effective if it is declared in a contemporaneous… Read the rest
A Trustee has a duty to invest and manage trust assets. How to go about investing Trust assets depends upon the goals of the Trust, Ohio law, and the beneficiaries’ needs. The goals of the Trust can be determined by simply looking at the Trust language. Ohio law dictates that a Trustee consider a number of factors when making investment decisions: The general economic conditions, the possible effect of inflation or deflation, the expected tax consequences of investment decisions or strategies, the role each investment plays within the overall trust portfolio, the expected total… Read the rest