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Can a living trust continue on generation after generation?

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Answer:  Yes.  A living trust can continue on for several generations.  However, a living trust must legally dissolve at some point, which is limited by what is termed the “law against perpetuity”.  The law against perpetuity is complex and should be discussed with your legal advisor.

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DISCLAIMER – Every case is different because every case is different. This blog does not give legal advice. This blog does not create an attorney client relationship. You are not permitted to rely on anything in this blog for any reason. This blog is an entirely personal endeavor. Every person’s situation is different and requires an attorney to review the situation personally with you.
No attorney-client relationship is created by this site.

The use of the Internet, this blog or email for communication with this firm or any individual member of this firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Before we represent any client, the client and the attorney will sign a written retainer agreement.
If you do not have a written, signed retainer agreement with us, we are not representing you and will not be taking any action on your behalf.

 

Does my trust end when I die?

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Answer:  Normally, yes, but it is your choice.  Most people desire to have their assets distributed outright to their beneficiaries at death as they would with a will and to have the trust terminate.  However, unlike a will a trust doesn’t have to die with you.  Assets can stay in your trust and be managed for your chosen beneficiaries by a trusted person or corporate trustee that you have chosen in order to provide for gifts to minor children or special family situations, where an outright distribution does not make sense.

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DISCLAIMER – Every case is different because every case is different. This blog does not give legal advice. This blog does not create an attorney client relationship. You are not permitted to rely on anything in this blog for any reason. This blog is an entirely personal endeavor. Every person’s situation is different and requires an attorney to review the situation personally with you.
No attorney-client relationship is created by this site.

The use of the Internet, this blog or email for communication with this firm or any individual member of this firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Before we represent any client, the client and the attorney will sign a written retainer agreement.
If you do not have a written, signed retainer agreement with us, we are not representing you and will not be taking any action on your behalf.

 

The Financial Perks of Growing Old Together

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By Mitch Adel
Spring is definitely upon us, and it isn’t just the young folks who are feeling amorous. Love is in the air, but many of us don’t realize its benefits go far beyond the psychological—particularly for seniors.
The financial benefits of marriage are well documented, but the fact is that seniors might actually benefit more in some areas than any other age demographic.Aside from the obvious advantages of sharing your heart and your bank account with a spouse (splitting the cost of things like rent or a mortgage and enjoying the financial stability and reduced risk that comes from two incomes) there are a number of specific ways that seniors can benefit from making a love connection.

Credit where credit is due

Because married couples have the advantage of two credit scores to work with, they can be more strategic in making significant purchases. Simply using the better credit score to make larger purchases (buying a house, for example) can have a positive financial impact: Even a relatively modest difference in credit scores can save tens of thousands of dollars in interest payments—money that can be directed toward your retirement.

An abundance of options

Retirement income options for married couples are also more diverse and financially favorable. One popular strategy that is available for couples is the “spousal switch”: electing to receive half of your spouse’s Social Security benefit as soon as they become eligible, and then switching to your own full benefit once you reach the age of 70 and maximum benefits kick in. By waiting until your benefit caps out—and collecting half of your spouse’s benefit in the interim—you can increase your monthly Social Security check by nearly $500. Similar strategies apply to widows and widowers, and this “juggling” of Social Security benefits can also help to maximize your benefits in circumstances where one spouse earns significantly more than another. It is also worth noting that it isn’t just married couples who may be able to take advantage of Social Security benefits: many states recognize common-law marriage status for couples that meet certain criteria (such as living together and filing taxes jointly), and the Social Security Administration recognizes those state-sanctioned unions.

It’s better to give…

In contrast with the $14,000 annual gift limit that applies to financial gifts between most individuals (above which a gift tax form must be filed and tax penalties may apply) spouses can gift each other any sum of money they choose.This is a small—but important—perk that can be very useful with multiple aspects of financial and estate planning.

With longer life expectancies, the financial pressures for seniors are more significant than ever. Higher medical expenses, largely driven by the skyrocketing costs of assisted living, in-home care and other specialized forms of health care, are making long-term financial planning more important than ever. At the same time, more couples over the age of 65 are getting hitched than ever before: nearly half a million American seniors are marrying every year.

On the other hand…

Before you tie the knot, there are critical issues you should discuss with your spouse-to-be that can affect your pocket book as well as your peace of mind.You should consider consulting with your elder law attorney and financial advisors to make sure you have all the bases covered.

The bottom line is this: whether you are newly married or have been together for decades, understanding how to make your relationship work for you and become a net economic positive is an important piece of the financial puzzle for seniors. Because, after all, what could be more romantic than a long, comfortable and financially secure retirement together?

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DISCLAIMER – Every case is different because every case is different. This blog does not give legal advice. This blog does not create an attorney client relationship. You are not permitted to rely on anything in this blog for any reason. This blog is an entirely personal endeavor. Every person’s situation is different and requires an attorney to review the situation personally with you.
No attorney-client relationship is created by this site.

The use of the Internet, this blog or email for communication with this firm or any individual member of this firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Before we represent any client, the client and the attorney will sign a written retainer agreement.
If you do not have a written, signed retainer agreement with us, we are not representing you and will not be taking any action on your behalf.

 

If my child dies before me, does his or her spouse become a beneficiary of that child’s share of my estate?

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Answer:  It depends.  The answer to this question is based upon your desires as expressed in your trust.  Typically, the wording in your living trust provides that the deceased child’s share of the estate passes on to the children of that child.  If the deceased child has no children, then the deceased child’s share of the estate would typically be divided among the other remaining children.  However, your assets do not have to be distributed that way.  The attorney should write your trust distribution provisions to follow your specific wishes, for example, you may even leave all or part of your child’s share to your child’s spouse.  The bottom line is that with a living trust you make the decisions about how you want your assets distributed.

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DISCLAIMER – Every case is different because every case is different. This blog does not give legal advice. This blog does not create an attorney client relationship. You are not permitted to rely on anything in this blog for any reason. This blog is an entirely personal endeavor. Every person’s situation is different and requires an attorney to review the situation personally with you.
No attorney-client relationship is created by this site.

The use of the Internet, this blog or email for communication with this firm or any individual member of this firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Before we represent any client, the client and the attorney will sign a written retainer agreement.
If you do not have a written, signed retainer agreement with us, we are not representing you and will not be taking any action on your behalf.

 

How is distribution upon death different if I have a living trust rather than a will?

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Answer:  When your assets are not in a living trust, they are distributed according to your will through the probate process.  This process is usually time consuming, cumbersome, expensive and a matter of public record so anyone can know your affairs.  As long as assets remain in probate, they continue to remain under court supervision.  At your death a living trust enables your successor trustee to step in and have the power to immediately distribute the assets as set out in your living trust.  The living trust also provides greater flexibility for assets to remain in the trust to be distributed later without court supervision, since the trust can “live on” as a private legal entity after a person’s death.  If you desire a delayed distribution or special distribution arrangements, you must make these arrangements as a specific provision of your trust.

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Contact us for a free consultation.

DISCLAIMER – Every case is different because every case is different. This blog does not give legal advice. This blog does not create an attorney client relationship. You are not permitted to rely on anything in this blog for any reason. This blog is an entirely personal endeavor. Every person’s situation is different and requires an attorney to review the situation personally with you.
No attorney-client relationship is created by this site.

The use of the Internet, this blog or email for communication with this firm or any individual member of this firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Before we represent any client, the client and the attorney will sign a written retainer agreement.
If you do not have a written, signed retainer agreement with us, we are not representing you and will not be taking any action on your behalf.

 

Does my successor trustee need to liquidate the living trust assets in order to distribute the assets?

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Answer:  No.  Liquidation of the living trust assets is not required unless specifically required by the terms of the trust.  The successor trustee is typically given the freedom to distribute assets directly to the heirs without converting them into cash.

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Contact us for a free consultation.

DISCLAIMER – Every case is different because every case is different. This blog does not give legal advice. This blog does not create an attorney client relationship. You are not permitted to rely on anything in this blog for any reason. This blog is an entirely personal endeavor. Every person’s situation is different and requires an attorney to review the situation personally with you.
No attorney-client relationship is created by this site.

The use of the Internet, this blog or email for communication with this firm or any individual member of this firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Before we represent any client, the client and the attorney will sign a written retainer agreement.
If you do not have a written, signed retainer agreement with us, we are not representing you and will not be taking any action on your behalf.

 

How do you dissolve the living trust?

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Answer:  A living trust may be revoked and unfunded by the person creating the trust (Settlor) during their lifetime which will result in the trust being dissolved or, a living trust is effectively dissolved at your death, once all of the assets in the trust have been distributed to your heirs in accordance with your wishes.

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Contact us for a free consultation.

DISCLAIMER – Every case is different because every case is different. This blog does not give legal advice. This blog does not create an attorney client relationship. You are not permitted to rely on anything in this blog for any reason. This blog is an entirely personal endeavor. Every person’s situation is different and requires an attorney to review the situation personally with you.
No attorney-client relationship is created by this site.

The use of the Internet, this blog or email for communication with this firm or any individual member of this firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Before we represent any client, the client and the attorney will sign a written retainer agreement.
If you do not have a written, signed retainer agreement with us, we are not representing you and will not be taking any action on your behalf.

 

Can I revoke my living trust?

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Answer:  Yes.  The individual who creates the living trust (Settlor) reserves the right to revoke it at any time.

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Contact us for a free consultation.

DISCLAIMER – Every case is different because every case is different. This blog does not give legal advice. This blog does not create an attorney client relationship. You are not permitted to rely on anything in this blog for any reason. This blog is an entirely personal endeavor. Every person’s situation is different and requires an attorney to review the situation personally with you.
No attorney-client relationship is created by this site.

The use of the Internet, this blog or email for communication with this firm or any individual member of this firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Before we represent any client, the client and the attorney will sign a written retainer agreement.
If you do not have a written, signed retainer agreement with us, we are not representing you and will not be taking any action on your behalf.

 

Do I ever need to update my living trust?

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Answer:  Yes.  Over your lifetime, you will probably wish to make some minor changes to your trust, such as specific gifts, change of beneficiaries, or a change of successor trustee.  These minor changes can typically be made by you.  You will also need to seek professional help to update your trust should you have a significant health change, especially if a nursing home stay is likely to be involved.   Professional help will be needed as well to update your trust in the event of family problems, dramatic change of assets, or to keep current with any changes in laws.   You should periodically review your trust with your attorney to see if there are any changes you would like to make.

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Contact us for a free consultation.

DISCLAIMER – Every case is different because every case is different. This blog does not give legal advice. This blog does not create an attorney client relationship. You are not permitted to rely on anything in this blog for any reason. This blog is an entirely personal endeavor. Every person’s situation is different and requires an attorney to review the situation personally with you.
No attorney-client relationship is created by this site.

The use of the Internet, this blog or email for communication with this firm or any individual member of this firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Before we represent any client, the client and the attorney will sign a written retainer agreement.
If you do not have a written, signed retainer agreement with us, we are not representing you and will not be taking any action on your behalf.

 

What should I do if my spouse or I become very ill and are hospitalized or placed in a long term care facility?

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Answer:  A living trust does provide for a successor trustee to be involved if you are incapable of handling your financial affairs, but a living trust will not insulate your assets from a nursing home “spend down”.  However, there are other legal techniques and provisions, which will normally allow you to avoid or minimize a nursing home spend down and permit you to qualify for medical financial assistance, but only if you proactively plan.  To preserve your assets, it is absolutely imperative that this medical financial assistance planning be done as early as possible.  Medical financial assistance planning also needs to be done hand in hand with modifications of your trust associated with your incapacity.  The laws regarding medical financial assistance are extremely complex.   Our office has been involved in hundreds of cases assisting people to qualify for medical financial assistance while preserving their assets.  Our office will provide you more specific information or assist you upon your request.

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Contact us for a free consultation.

DISCLAIMER – Every case is different because every case is different. This blog does not give legal advice. This blog does not create an attorney client relationship. You are not permitted to rely on anything in this blog for any reason. This blog is an entirely personal endeavor. Every person’s situation is different and requires an attorney to review the situation personally with you.
No attorney-client relationship is created by this site.

The use of the Internet, this blog or email for communication with this firm or any individual member of this firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Before we represent any client, the client and the attorney will sign a written retainer agreement.
If you do not have a written, signed retainer agreement with us, we are not representing you and will not be taking any action on your behalf.

 



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