Too often, people assume a family wealth trust is designed only for those with significant wealth, but actually, these financial planning tools can benefit nearly any family. It’s especially beneficial in families with young children and families who don’t want their estates to go through probate, where it becomes public record. Our estate planning lawyers can help provide direction for family wealth trusts in Ohio.
When Family Wealth Trusts Make Sense
As mentioned, families with young children can benefit greatly from these types of trusts, especially considering they allow for a fast transfer and distribution of the assets. This provides peace of mind that your children’s needs aren’t put on hold while your estate is being decided. Speaking of our children, these types of trusts can also protect their inheritances in any future divorces after they reach adulthood. For some families, the ability to minimize their estate taxes is an added benefit, especially for married couples who wish to defer paying those taxes. They’re flexible and allow for surviving spouses to better protect themselves should they remarry, as well.
You as Trustee
Many are attracted to family wealth trusts because they can maintain control of the trust. Most who opt for these tools indeed choose themselves as the trustee or for married couples, both may serve as co-trustees. It ensures control over your assets and makes it easier for any necessary transitions in the event of illnesses or death.
Remember, though, there are still tax considerations. Each state may have its own income tax rates and of course, there’s the federal tax that must be factored. It’s the absence of the probate that makes it desirable for countless families.
Often, what begins as a dream for a couple to become small business owners can grow into a sizable corporation that benefits not only their local communities, but other areas as well. A family wealth trust ensures ownership of that company, regardless of its size, remains with the family.
It also protects the business from being split and ownership placed with other people, depending on the estate’s administration. The ownership considerations aren’t determined at death, but instead, while the owners are still alive. The trustees are already made owners of the business and will have received instruction on what to do at the time of death to ensure the beneficiaries are better protected. Because you serve as the role of the settlor, you will maintain control until the time of your death. As mentioned, it’s the privacy that’s attractive to many but there’s one caveat on how your anonymity is protected. Your legal advocate will work to ensure your trust agreement is legally protected and recorded if it holds title on real property.
There’s much more that goes into a properly executed family wealth trust. Consult a qualified estate planning lawyer to ensure your financial bases are covered so that your loved ones are not dealt an unfair hand.