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Trusts – The Swiss Army Knife of Estate Planning

To the general public, a trust may seem like an advanced tool only for the wealthiest among us. But, the reality is that trusts are a foundational estate planning tool with a solid history for being highly effective in ensuring a person’s wishes are carried out. The process begins with the maker of a trust […]

Don’t Leave Your Trust Unguarded: 6 Key Ways a Trust Protector Can Help You

Trust protectors are a fairly new and commonly used protection in the United States. In short, a trust protector is someone who serves as an appointed authority over a trust that will be in effect for a long period of time. Trust protectors ensure that trustees: maintain the integrity of the trust, make solid distribution […]

A Trust for Fluffy or Fido? Why Every Pet Parent Needs to Consider a Pet Trust Today

Estate planning is about protecting what’s important to you. Although much of the traditional estate planning conversation focus on surviving spouses, children, grandchildren, many pet parents wonder about what could happen to their “furry children” after their death or if they become incapacitated and unable to care for the pets. Read on if you’ve ever […]

Do you really need a trust?

Although many people equate “estate planning” with having a will, there are many advantages to having a trust rather than a will as the centerpiece of your estate plan. While there are other estate planning tools (such as joint tenancy, transfer on death, beneficiary designations, to name a few), only a trust provides comprehensive management […]

How A Living Trust Helps Your Family

There are several parts to an estate plan, one of them being a living trust. Common factors that prompt someone to create a trust include privacy, tax benefits, avoiding probate, and caring for family members with special needs. Estate planning also lets you dictate how your assets will pass on to future generations after your […]

3 Celebrity Probate Disasters and Tragic Lessons

With extreme wealth accumulated, one would assume that celebrities would take steps to protect their estates. But think again: Some of the world’s richest and most famous people enter the pearly gates with no estate plan in place, while others have made estate planning mistakes that tied their fortunes and heirs up for years in […]

Billionaire J.B. Pritzker’s ‘blind trust’ is not totally blind. Here’s why.

Billionaire J.B. Pritzker on Thursday promised to shift some of his immense wealth into a blind trust to avoid conflicts of interest, but it’s unclear whether he will be able to fully wall off his fortune from his official duties as Illinois governor.

Strategies for Reducing the Income Tax Squeeze on Irrevocable Trusts

Under federal income tax laws, irrevocable, non-grantor trusts (such as Bypass Trusts and Dynasty Trusts) are subject to highly compressed income tax brackets. In 2014, the top 39.6% tax rate kicks in at only $12,500 of trust income. In addition, trusts in the top tax bracket are subject to the 20% long-term capital gains rate […]