A Check-Up For Your Trust

... Make sure that you understand what is in your trust. Other issues, particularly those related to tax issues, will require consulting with an estate planning professional.

Do you have a trust? Trusts are powerful estate planning tools, those of which should be properly

established and properly maintained. When it comes to revocable trusts, also known as “living” trusts,

ElderLawAnswers offers a convenient and instructive checklist of the things to watch and the things that

can go wrong in an article titled “9 (Potential) Problems with Your Trust.”

These nine (potential) problems reside in these questions:

  • ·Do you have the right successor trustees?

  • Who can remove trustees?

  • Can your spouse change the ultimate distribution of trust assets after you have passed away?

  • Does your trust protect your children and grandchildren from lawsuits and divorces?

  • Have you “funded” your trust?

  • Who is named as beneficiary of your retirement plans and other investments?

  • At what age will children and grandchildren receive their inheritance?

  • Does your trust have provisions providing for maximum tax deferral if it is named the beneficiary of a retirement plan?

  • Is your trust up-to-date for estate tax purposes?

Some of these nine questions touch on structural issues to get your trust right at the outset, while still

others are “maintenance” matters to ensure your trust is still accomplishing the goals for which it was

established. Remember: your life, the lives of your loved ones, and the relevant laws will likely change

across the years.

Either way, reflecting on these nine touch points are worth understanding if a trust is important to your

estate plan. They certainly demonstrate just how vital competent counsel is in setting up, administering

and guiding your trust.

So, is your existing trust still up-to-code? Are you ready to create your trust as part of your New Year’s

resolutions for 2014?

For more information about estate planning, business planning, retirement planning,

and asset protection planning in Louisiana please visit my website,

louisianaestatelawyer.com.

Reference: Elder Law Answers (December 17, 2013) “9 (Potential) Problems with Your Trust”

Jimmy Long