If you have worked hard all your life to accumulate your wealth, whether it is a small amount or a significant amount, it is important to protect your assets. Estate planning is a critical element of asset protection efforts. In order for estate planning to be effective, you should try to identify all of the potential “threats” to your assets. Common examples include taxes, the expenses associated with probate actions, former spouses, and creditors.
There are numerous ways we can help you avoid certain threats that could negatively impact or deplete your assets. One option to consider is placing your assets into a generation-skipping trust. As indicated by the name, you skip a generation when naming beneficiaries. In other words, you name your grandchildren as the final beneficiaries instead of your children. This may sound shocking, but there is a twist to this arrangement. Your children can be life beneficiaries, with the Trustee having the discretion to distribute income or principal of the trust to your children during their lifetime.
As a result, because your children do not own or have the right to assets in the trust, the assets are not available to attack by their creditors. The remaining trust assets left after your children die are transferred to your grandchildren. In sum, a generation-skipping trust impacts ownership, not the benefits received or the ability to use trust assets.
The generation skipping type of trust benefits your children and grandchildren, but not necessarily you as the Grantor. If you are working to protect assets for your benefit, there are other strategies such as use of Family Limited Liability Companies (“FLLC”), or Domestic Asset Protection Trusts, or even more complicated arrangements using Off-Shore Trust arrangements.
Generation skipping trusts are just one example of how you can protect your assets. Let us review your individual circumstances and help you understand your options for asset protection and tax advantages for your family. The Astill Law Office has provided high quality legal services for over 30 years. We specialize in wills, trusts, estate planning, and asset protection. If you have any questions about creating a Trust, Will, or estate planning in general, contact The Astill Law Office at 801-438-8698.