Two of the biggest reasons people like you establish comprehensive estate plans are to provide for the needs of children or other loved ones after you pass away and to minimize the taxes and other costs that could reduce the amounts those loved ones receive. As part of a will and comprehensive estate plan, a properly crafted testamentary trust can help achieve these goals and more.
The Tukwila estate planning lawyers at Dimension Law Group have extensive experience establishing testamentary trusts that effectively preserve and transfer wealth while ensuring that our clients achieve their specific objectives.
What Is a Testamentary Trust?
As opposed to a revocable living trust, which comes into being while you are still alive, a testamentary trust does not become effective until your death. It is established as part of your will and provides that some or all of the assets in your estate will be transferred to the trust upon your passing.
When establishing the trust, you will choose a trusted individual to administer the trust pursuant to the directions and conditions you set forth in your will. After your death, your will must still go through the probate process before the trust can be formally established and the assets transferred into the trust. Once that happens, the trustee you appointed will manage the assets and property until the trust expires, at which point the designated beneficiaries will receive them.
Why Consider a Testamentary Trust?
Often, testamentary trusts are established by individuals who have minor children or loved ones with disabilities. If both parents pass away before these beneficiaries are legally or practically capable of managing substantial assets, a testamentary trust allows the parents to entrust responsibility for those assets to a trustee who will provide for the children’s needs during the duration of the trust. That duration can be until the children are a certain age, graduate from college, get married, or reach any other milestone designated by the creator of the trust so long as that milestone does not run afoul of public policy.
Your testamentary trust can also provide the trustee with specific directions on how trust assets can be used or distributed during the duration of the trust, such as for educational expenses, healthcare or other needs.
In addition to providing for your child’s needs and security in the event of a tragedy, a testamentary trust can also help you reduce the tax liabilities that often accompany the transfer of assets upon death. A well-drafted trust can save federal and Washington estate taxes by sheltering assets up to your lifetime exemption or qualifying your trust for the unlimited marital deduction.
Dimension Law Group: Tukwila Trust and Estate Planning Lawyers
No matter your specific estate planning needs or goals, the estate planning lawyers at Dimension Law Group can help. We are committed to providing our clients with attentive, responsive, and personalized estate planning services that bring clarity and peace of mind. If you would like to learn more about testamentary trusts, have estate planning questions, or are ready to begin preparing your estate plan, please call us at (206) 966-4623 or contact us online to arrange for a consultation.