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trusts Archives

Conflicts with trustees

Georgia residents who are beneficiaries of trusts may have legal recourse if the trustee controlling fund access is uncooperative. It is important that beneficiaries are aware of their rights and of what steps to take if they are encountering difficulties with a trustee.

How silent trusts can help people plan

People in Georgia who are thinking about their future often are concerned with how best they can leave a legacy to their children or other loved ones. Many people opt to create trusts, as they allow property to pass outside of the probate system and can also provide significant tax benefits over the years. However, some worry that if their children know from an early age that a substantial trust fund will be waiting for them, they will be less motivated to achieve academically and in their careers.

Planning for educational gifts from an estate

Many estate owners in Georgia want to be able to support the education of children, grandchildren or future generations with their assets. When preparing for the future, there are a few different ways to include educational bequests as part of an estate plan. Trusts can provide different flexible options as well as the opportunity to create certain conditions for beneficiaries to access the funds.

Reasons a trust might need to be changed

People in Georgia who have trusts as part of their estate plan may want to periodically review those trusts to make sure they still fulfill their intended purpose. There are several reasons a trust may no longer work for an individual. One is that the trust was never created property in the first place. This can happen if an attorney does not understand a family's wishes and needs.

How to incorporate charity into an estate plan

Those who live in Georgia or any other state may want to give money to charity while alive or after passing. Charitable giving can be included in an estate plan, and the first step in doing so is to find a cause worth donating to. Individuals might want to consider giving to charities that they have donated to in the past when creating their plan. It could also be worthwhile to consider which issues are relevant to future generations.

Trusts, estates and tax reform

Georgia residents can include trusts in their estate plans to ensure that assets are distributed in a certain way. With the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, it is important that individuals who do use trusts are aware of how the trusts can be impacted.

Trusts can minimize estate tax liabilities

Georgia residents who are thinking about the future may find that their estate plans are affected by the increased transfer tax exemption brought into existence by the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. While the transfer tax exemption was doubled to $11.18 million per person or $22.36 million per married couple under the law, it has a built-in sunset clause in 2025. If additional legislation is not passed, the exemption will return to its 2017 levels -- roughly half the new exemption amounts. This means that people with substantial estates valued at over $5.6 million may wish to take action to preserve the larger exemption before its expiration in 2025.

Trust distributions could be subject to flexibility

Georgia parents who are setting up trusts to manage the distribution of inheritances to their children often have valid reasons for controlling the flow of money. Whether a will creates a testamentary trust or a benefactor establishes a lifetime irrevocable trust, the terms governing distributions fall into the categories of discretionary, mandatory or event-driven. Mandatory distributions or those triggered by events like marriage or graduation can be hardwired into the terms of a trust. Such terms exert specific control, but benefactors have the option of building in flexibility with discretionary terms.

Trust strategies for supporting people with special needs

Families in Georgia that include a person with special needs must consider that individual's long-term welfare and maintenance. The direct assignment of an inheritance to a person born with disabilities or who was disabled by an accident or disease could likely interfere with government benefits. Generally, someone cannot possess over $2,000 to qualify for Supplemental Security Income. Special needs trusts supply solutions to this problem.

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