Archive | Trust How-To’s

Trusts and Estates: 7 Steps to Designing the Perfect Trust and Estate Plan – Part 3 & 4

Click here for Part 1 (steps 1 & 2).

The seven steps in this series will guide you through the process of building a working outline for a thoughtful and successful trust document. Here is a refresher on what we covered in Part 1: In Step 1, we started with Why – figuring out your main purpose or motivation for including one or more trusts in your estate plan. In Step 2, we worked on the Who – listing and describing the people (and possibly charities) your trust will benefit.

And now . . .on to the next steps: Trust Distribution

Step 3 – Decide How Much & When

Next, we will cover how your estate plan will express the amount and frequency of distributions from the trust to your beneficiaries. The goal of this step is to determine how you would like the trust assets to be paid out. This does not have to be perfect right off the bat. You’ll refine this in time. Continue Reading →

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Trusts and Estates: 7 Steps to Designing the Perfect Trust and Estate Plan – Part 1 & 2

If you have thought about your estate plan, chances are you have also done a lot of thinking about the pros and cons of trusts. You might have already decided that trusts will be part of your estate/wealth transfer plan. But where do you go from here?  Organizing your thoughts and desires concerning your trusts and estates plan might be a daunting task, but broken down can become a much more manageable process.  

The following seven steps will help you build a working outline for a thoughtful and successful trust document. 

Trusts and Estates

 

Why Should I Do This?

Maybe you’re thinking, “Why do I need to go through this process – isn’t that what my attorney is for?”  Continue Reading →

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What Kate Hudson and Goldie Hawn Can Teach Us About Long-Term Trusts

Edward_Rutledge

image credit: www.carolana.com

Do you know who Edward Rutledge was?

Edward Rutledge was born in 1749. By the 1770s, he had built a successful law practice in Charleston, South Carolina.

Edward, along with his brother, John, represented South Carolina in the Continental Congress. At age 26, Edward was the youngest signer of the Declaration of Independence.

In the War of Independence, Edward served as an artillery captain. He was captured by the British and remained a prisoner of war for about a year.

After the war Edward served as a state senator and ultimately South Carolina’s governor until his early death at age 50 in 1800.

Two of his direct descendants living today, about 214 years later, are Goldie Hawn and Kate Hudson.

Didn’t see that coming? That’s the point.

Most so-called “Dynasty Trusts” drafted today will last for 360 years (under Florida law) or longer (under a few other states’ laws). It’s important to avoid the trap of assuming you know what’s best for all of your descendants a even just few generations down the road.

Governor Rutledge was a Founding Father and Really Important Guy. His amazing experiences surely made him a worldy and learned individual in his time.

But do you think he could have foreseen the needs, wants, and lifestyles of two Hollywood stars? Before anyone could have imagined Hollywood (let alone independent and wealthy women)?

Here’s the lesson: Flexibility is the key.

If you’re going to set up a permanent or near-permanent trust, give your trustees the powers and discretion they will need to adapt to an ever-changing world.

How do you do that?

Talk to us, of course…

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Naples, Florida 34110
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