Support a Charity – and Your Loved Ones – With a CLAT

A charitable lead annuity trust (CLAT) is an estate planning tool whereby a person (grantor) creates a trust that initially benefits a charitable organization, foundation, or other qualifying entity for a defined period. After this time ends, the CLAT’s remaining assets are distributed to non-charitable beneficiaries, usually a grantor’s loved ones or family members. Depending on how it is structured, a CLAT may be able to reduce a person’s estate and gift taxes. Characteristics of CLATs CLATs are irrevocable trusts and can be created and funded during a grantor’s lifetime or through that grantor’s will. The grantor can fund the

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What Are the Benefits of Having a Testamentary Trust?

There are various benefits to creating a testamentary trust. This article discusses the benefits of adding a testamentary trust to your estate plan. What Is a Testamentary Trust? A testamentary trust allows a testator to manage wealth by giving a trustee instructions for distributing their property after the trustee’s death. A testamentary trust is a part of the testator’s last will and testament. Wealth Management and Asset Protection A testamentary trust helps with overall wealth management by protecting the testator’s assets after their death. This type of trust can be used to name minors as beneficiaries of the testator’s estate. A testator

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Estate Planning Checklist For Divorce

Divorce can be challenging. Even if both parties are on board, divorce is a significant life shift, and with that comes stress, uncertainty, and change. As your needs, priorities, and goals take on a new course, one thing you don’t want to overlook is your estate plan. Estate plans typically contain important documents regarding your future wishes, finances, and health mandates. While married couples generally appoint their spouse as beneficiaries to estate plans, this typically changes with divorce. However, alterations to designations are not automatic and must be legally updated. Below is a list of documents and designations you’ll want

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What Are Medicaid Asset Protection Trusts?

Medicaid imposes strict rules on how much money and assets an applicant can have. To qualify for Medicaid, you must fall under the asset limit, which is $2,000 in most states. Even with greater than $2,000 in assets, however, you may be able to get on Medicaid by establishing a Medicaid Asset Protection Trust (MAPT). When you put your assets in a MAPT, Medicaid will not count the money in the trust toward its resource limit. Using Medicaid Asset Protection Trusts to Transfer Assets After you create a Medicaid Asset Protection Trust, you no longer own the assets within it,

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What Is Required For A Will to Be Legally Binding And Enforceable?

What Makes a Will Legally Binding and Enforceable? For all the stories about great ideas or works of literature starting out as notes scribbled on a napkin, it is not advisable you do the same for your last will and testament. Making your last wishes known requires deliberation, preparation, and a final document of indisputable authenticity and provenance that will not be challenged in probate court. In this article, we will provide a brief overview of what Massachusetts law requires of the testator (the author of the will) and of the document itself in order for a will to be

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Don’t Yet Want Your Heirs to Know About Your Assets? Use a Quiet Trust in Your Estate Plan

Trusts are great tools for leaving assets to your heirs while maintaining control over their access to those assets. In many cases, you would tell your beneficiaries that you have made a trust for them. However, this is not always desirable — and this is where a “quiet” trust may be helpful. A quiet trust is a trust created much like other trusts, but with little to no notice given to its beneficiaries. A person, called a grantor, places assets in a trust managed by someone who is appointed as a trustee. The trust document may provide that income will only

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