Many Loudoun County residents have concerns about estate planning. They may be led to believe that a living trust is absolutely essential and without one, their estate will end up going through probate and turn into one huge mess. This is not always the case. In fact, many people don't need a trust for their estate planning needs.
Many Loudoun County residents may have seen the term "vested" in connection to benefits they receive from an employer, such as a pension. For example, if an employee is required to work at a company for a certain period of time before receiving these benefits, the benefits will be "vested" -- or legally enforceable -- once the employee has met that length-of-employment requirement. Before that point, the employee is not guaranteed those benefits. Many people are unaware that this works the same way with a revocable living trust, a commonly-used estate planning document.
Many Loudoun County residents are probably confused about their estate planning needs. A primary question might be, "Should I create a will or would a trust be better?" There are several differences between these two, so the best one to use for estate planning would depend on a person's assets, as well as a variety of other factors.
Loudoun County residents may be thinking about estate planning, but may be unsure where to start. Between wills, trust, and estate plans, there are so many things to consider. Although not ideal for some people, a revocable trust can be a useful estate planning tool for many reasons.
Many Loudoun County residents may be concerned about asset protection, especially with estate tax changes going into effect soon. Those with smaller estates may be able to avoid estate taxes easily, while those with larger estates may need to seek out other options in order to avoid having to pay taxes on the wealth they worked so hard to build. These individuals may want to look into an intentionally defective grantor trust (IDGT) for their estate planning needs.
While people may have different objectives when arranging their estate matter, one theme is shared by all. Residents of Loudon County going through the process of estate planning want to be able to ensure their desires for asset distribution are properly executed. Readers of this blog may be familiar with the use of trusts, but may not be aware of some important steps that should be taken to ensure the trust is ready to work for those for whom it is prepared.
Here is a question for Loudoun County residents: How much do you really know about estate planning? Think about your assets, such as life insurance, annuities, 401(k) and IRA accounts. Who is listed as the beneficiary on the account? Who is listed as the beneficiary in the will or trust? If the answers to these two questions are not the same, then it is time to update your will or trust. This is why estate planning is so important.
One advantage of a trust that is not mentioned enough is a trust's ability to prevent, at least in part, creditors from reaching someone's assets. It is important in estate planning, however, to create the right type of trust because only a few types of trusts are exempt from creditors.
With so many different types of trusts available, Virginia residents may have questions about what the best option is in their situation. Two of the most common types of trusts used in estate planning are the revocable living trust and the testamentary trust. Other types of trusts include irrevocable trusts, family trusts, charitable trusts, irrevocable insurance trusts, living trusts and special needs trusts.
Gov. Bob McDonnell signed a bill that permits asset-protection trusts in the state of Virginia. Only 12 other states in the country offer them. Asset-protection trusts provide a way for wealthy individuals to protect their assets from legal claims in the event that they or their companies are sued.