Maintaining Your Trust Fund In Your Estate Plan


A trust fund is a tool to protect certain estate assets and ensure that they go to the intended recipient upon your death. Not only that, but assets in a trust may avoid estate taxes and probate issues, which can save your loved ones time and money. However, it is important to remember that establishing the trust fund is not the end of the process. Here are some fundamentals about updating your trust and trustee.

Should you review your trust when you review your will?

In an ideal situation, your will and any other estate planning documents should be reviewed every year. This provides an opportunity to adjust for any changes that have occurred and ensures that your asset inventories, distribution preferences, and trust structure remain the way that you want them.

What should you consider when evaluating the trust for updates?

Your trust fund should be modified any time you face significant life changes. For example, when your children graduate from high school, graduate from college, or have children of their own, their financial needs, goals, and plans will change. That means you may need to make changes to your trust fund to accommodate those differences.

Not only that, but sometimes you set milestones that must be achieved before beneficiaries receive access to their funds in the trust. In those cases, sometimes the milestones are reached before your death. You can make changes to the guidelines as needed in accordance with progress and growth.

Additionally, if your children have become parents, you may want to allocate funds in that trust fund specifically for your grandchildren. You can define amounts, intentions, and milestones for access to those funds as well.

What should you consider when evaluating your trustee status?

In addition to reviewing the trust itself, you should also consider the trustee that you appoint to manage that trust fund. Trustees are responsible for ensuring that the standards are met before funds are distributed, and they help to manage those accounts after your death.

Make sure you keep the trustee designation updated at least once a year. A trustee that predeceases you will be irrelevant and leave your trust funds with no manager. Make sure you adjust your designation as necessary or even add a secondary trustee for peace of mind.

These are just a few of the many things that you should understand when it comes to establishing and maintaining a trust fund as part of your estate plan. For more information, contact a trust fund lawyer near you.


27 March 2023

why you need to hire an attorney

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