Each client at Evans and Associates meets with Shannon and implements a customized estate plan that varies on each person’s assets and family members, which can include wills, financial powers of attorney, health care powers of attorney, revocable trust, asset protected trusts (hyperlink to our asset page), and IRA Trusts (hyperlink to our IRA Trusts page), depending on your specific situation.
The initial consultation is complimentary. At that session, be prepared to identify possible successor trustees/executors and who you would like your estate to pass to.

Revocable Trusts

Since many clients have blended families, or unique relationships, suggestions about the best structure will be made after a private discussion with Shannon.   A trust will void the necessity of a probate of your assets and will shorten the amount of time necessary to handle the distribution of your assets after passing.  It is also a privacy tool, since the trust is a private document and does not need to be filed or its assets made known, even after the death of the owners.

A Trust is a legal arrangement established by an individual, who is called either the Grantor or Settlor, in which the legal title to property and the right to manage it is placed in the hands of a trustee(s) and the beneficial enjoyment of the trust property is given to the trust beneficiaries. The Grantor can also be the trustee.

A trust also allows you the following benefits:

  1. You can be creative in the distribution of your assets to your beneficiaries.  If you have children who have special needs (make this a hyperlink to language below), those can be addressed through the trust document.
  2. A trust will allow a step-up in basis to the fair market value as of your date of death for any real property or personally owned stock held in your trust.  Basis is the amount you have paid for your real estate or your shares of stock.  Funding your trust is a critical part of thoughtful estate planning.  It is crucial to make sure that your assets are properly transferred to the trust. We take particular care to prepare deeds transferring real property to your trust.  We also make sure that memberships in Limited Liability Corporations and/or stock certificates showing ownership in Corporations are properly executed.  Only you can change title to bank accounts and investment accounts, but we provide a clear checklist of your homework.

Funding your revocable living trust prior to your death avoids probating the assets that have been transferred to the trust. It is very important to follow through and transfer your assets, such as real estate or investment accounts, to the trust before you pass away, otherwise the assets not transferred may be subject to probate.

Since you have the power to withdraw the trust assets from your trust at any time, you will not lose any control of those assets. A separate tax return will not have to be filed for the trust until the time of your death. All of the trust income will be reported under your social security number and reported on your personal return.

Special Needs Trust and Planning for Children with Disabilities.

Many families have children with an array of disabilities.  However, any heir who may be on government funding, such as SSI, or Medicaid, needs very particular language, called “Special Needs” language to be included in trusts and/or wills to make sure that the child actually receives his or her inheritance.  Without the proper language, a child who receives governmental aid may risk not receiving an inheritance or the government entity may reach into your trust to get repaid for amounts paid to benefit the child in the past.  Also an inheritance may unintentionally stop the child’s government benefits altogether until such time as the assets have been spent and the child reapplies for aid.

For disabled heirs who may be beneficiaries of an IRA, an entirely different type of Inherited IRA trust must be drafted and named on the beneficiary form.  This trust is known as an Inherited IRA Accumulation Trust for Special Needs.  This is a very unique type of trust that ensures that required annual minimum distributions from an IRA to a beneficiary who is on government aid, may be held by the trustee and paid out only in a manner that does not duplicate any SSI or Medicaid benefits.  Many people overlook their IRAs and just name a special needs child directly as a beneficiary.  Do not make this mistake!

Schedule Your Free Consultation

Shannon has nationally recognized expertise in planning for distributions for your IRA or 401K to your heirs. We assist you in updating all of your beneficiary forms as part of our estate planning process.