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Trust Lawyers in Shreveport

Effective Ways to Protect Family Assets

In order to keep your family’s estate out of the hands of the government following your passing, you may want to set up a trust for your finances. A "trust" is a legal document which can be created during your lifetime allowing a third party to hold assets on your behalf or on your beneficiaries' behalf. Trusts come in a variety of formats suited to different needs, and they can be very helpful in using your assets to continue funding the life you and your family have come to expect. Since 1951, the Shreveport estate lawyers at Richie, Richie & Oberle, L.L.P. have helped families protect their wealth. The sooner you begin planning for your family’s future, the better prepared you will be.

Get started on planning your Northwest Louisiana estate by calling (318) 995-3339 or contacting us online.

Types of Trusts

When a person establishes a trust, they transfer property with certain stipulations that protect it from misuse. There are two basic types of trusts: revocable and irrevocable. A revocable trust, also known as a living trust, is one which is created during a person's lifetime and can be changed, modified, or completely revoked at will. Revocable trusts are helpful in avoiding probate (or "succession" as it is known in Louisiana), allowing assets to be easily transferred to a beneficiary at the time of the trustmaker's death. While useful in this regard, they are not a recommended asset protection technique as the assets in a revocable trust are still available to creditors and can be taxed.

An irrevocable trust is one which cannot be changed after its creation. Once an asset is transferred to an irrevocable trust, it cannot be removed from the trust, even by the trustmaker. The advantage of an irrevocable trust is that it can protect these assets from taxes.

The type of trust you will need will vary based on the types of assets you own and the goals you have. It is always best to seek professional advice to ensure you make the right decision for you and your loved ones.

Some examples of commonly used trusts include:

  • Marital or "A" trusts: These types of are used to provide benefits to a surviving spouse and are generally included in the taxable estate of the surviving spouse. It places assets into a trust when one spouse dies, with all income generated by these assets going to the surviving spouse. These types of trusts can also be set up to transfer to a couple's heirs once both spouses pass away.
  • Charitable trusts: A charitable trust is one which benefits a particular charity or the general public. These trusts are generally used to avoid the imposition of an estate or gift tax.
  • Special needs trusts: A special needs trust is one which is created for the benefit of a person with a special need who receives government benefits in order supplement these benefits without disqualifying them from receiving such benefits. A properly created special needs trust will allow the beneficiary to receive government benefits while still receiving funds from the trust.

Get Experienced Legal Help

Because trust strategies are complicated, you should not undertake to organize them without the help of experienced estate planners like the ones at Richie, Richie & Oberle, L.L.P. Our firm has earned a reputation in Northwest Louisiana as the estate planning firm generations can trust to protect their assets.

Schedule your consultation today by dialing (318) 995-3339 or contacting us online.

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