The “10 Most Gruesome Estate Planning Mistakes” series. Mistake #5: Not Having a Trust

A trust is the single most effective estate planning tool available. There are many different types of trusts. Among the better known and more commonly used are revocable trusts, irrevocable trusts and testamentary trusts. In addition to protecting your privacy, a trust will help you leave what you want, to whom you want, in the way you want—at the lowest possible cost.

Advantages of a Trust

A variety of trusts and other tools that can help you accomplish all of the following goals and more:

  • Passing values, work ethic and a sense of responsibility to heirs
  • Significantly reducing income, estate, excise and gift taxes
  • Keeping financial affairs and family matters private
  • Making sure heirs are mature enough to handle a large inheritance on their own, and protecting that inheritance if they are not ready for the responsibility
  • Protecting heirs’ inheritances in the event of divorce and remarriage
  • Managing the value of business assets and interests
  • Ensuring a lasting legacy and impact on society

Attorneys Christopher J. Berry and Brandon S. ThomsonBrandon S. Thomson recognize that each client’s situation is unique and is experienced in utilizing the full range of estate planning tools and strategies. Contact us today for a consultation to discuss your particular needs and goals.

Asset Protection Trust

Many of the clients of The Elder Care Firm our interested in protecting their assets from unnecessary costs, probate, taxes and long-term care costs.  Through proper planning using irrevocable and revocable trusts, you can maintain control while still protecting what you’ve earned to preserve your values.

Many times we are using asset protection trusts where you can change trustees, beneficiaries, control the investments, receive the income from the trust and empty the trust at anytime…while still being protected from law suits and long-term care costs.

Retirement Plan Trust

Certified Elder Law Attorney Christopher J. Berry is one of the pioneers in Michigan of the Stand Alone Retirement Plan Trust.  Many times IRA and 401(k) accounts are a family’s largest asset, however most Michigan estate planning lawyers fail to properly plan for this asset due to the complex nature of income tax and required minimum distributions.  Estate Planning attorney Christopher Berry has developed the Michigan Retirement Plan Trust as a way to enforce the stretch out provisions of the IRA while at the same time maintaining the asset protection many clients crave for their loved ones.

Get Educated

To learn more, join us for one of our FREE LifeCare Planning Workshops. Our estate planning experts will have upcoming workshops in Ann Arbor, Bloomfield Hills, Brighton, Dearborn, Lansing, Livonia, Novi, and Trenton. We promise that time will fly, you’ll learn a lot, and have a little bit of fun. To sign up for a LifeCare Planning Workshop click here.

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