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Family Services: Trust
Many financial plans begin with a revocable living trust, because there are so many uses and so much flexibility. There is also control. It’s the trust that keeps you in charge. You can change it as your life changes — to do more, to do less, or to do something else entirely. You can even terminate it if you want.

There are many possibilities, and Investors Independent Trust Company can help you take advantage of them.

A Flexible Performer
Trusts have a reputation as tax fighters, and they often do that very well. But a revocable living trust does not save taxes. Instead, it is a very flexible way to obtain specialized financial services that can protect you and your family. It can provide professional investment management that your disability or death will not interrupt.

Defined in simplest terms, a revocable living trust is a legal arrangement between three parties. The first person — the grantor or creator — establishes the trust, so that someone else — the trustee — can hold and manage assets to benefit a third person — the beneficiary. The name says “living” because this kind of trust takes effect as soon as the grantor or creator sets it up, and it continues during the grantor’s lifetime (and even beyond if the grantor arranges for it). The grantor can amend or end the trust — revoke it — at any time. So, you are never locked in.

Never Locked In
Once you have a revocable living trust, you can revise it to keep up with changes in your finances or family. Whenever you want, you can:

  • Add assets or withdraw them from your trust

  • Change the responsibilities you want your trustee to handle

  • Change either of the two other parties concerned in the trust — to name one or more new beneficiaries or even to substitute a new trustee
This freedom to make the changes you need is only part of the flexibility that a revocable living trust provides. You can have the same individual fill more than one role in the trust arrangement. For example, you — the grantor — can also be the beneficiary. Or the grantor can be the trustee or co-trustee. Where the law allows, it is even possible for the grantor to be both beneficiary and trustee or co-trustee.

The use of a revocable living trust, properly drafted by your attorney and administered by Investors Independent Trust Company, may save a great deal of money for your surviving family members. One of the most punitive taxes which wealthy individuals face is the federal estate tax. The tax is charged against estates that exceed the Lifetime Credit Amount.

In addition, you have nearly unlimited discretion to determine how the trust’s income and principal will be distributed. When, in what amounts, and in what manner the trustee distributes money from your trust are yours to choose when you set up your revocable living trust.

Your Choice Of Tasks
A revocable living trust is also very flexible in the tasks you can assign to your trustee. It’s your choice. But it is likely you will decide to include one or two of these important responsibilities:

Unify your estate assets for administrative simplicity.

Your life insurance proceeds, for example, and other assets can be payable at your death to the trustee of your revocable living trust. This arrangement will assure that your assets remain under skilled, professional care. The trustee will manage all the assets, under the terms of your trust, for the benefit of your beneficiaries. Your family gains ongoing professional support and much less financial disruption and uncertainty.

Ed has had a successful career as a pediatric surgeon. He owns investment and personal real estate, plus a diversified securities portfolio. Ed set up a revocable living trust and transferred some of his investments to it. On his death, Ed’s revocable living trust will provides for his remaining assets to be “poured over” to his trust, and Ed’s advisor will make the investment decisions for his entire estate. Ed’s wife and son, who are not at all interested in investing, won’t have to become part-time property and investment managers. Ed has simplified both his estate and the financial lives of his heirs.

Peace and Protection
Peace of mind. Your revocable living trust can let you relax financially. With an experienced, professional trustee, you’ll know your trust assets will be properly invested in accordance with your objectives. You’ll stay informed and have the comforting assurance that your trustee is taking good care of your assets.

Probate avoidance. Another real advantage of a living trust is how it can protect your assets from probate. Any assets you place in your trust during your lifetime that continue in trust at your death need not be subject to probate. So, for those assets, your heirs will avoid the costs, delays, and publicity that the probate process may involve.

Protection against legal challenge. Your revocable living trust may be less vulnerable to a legal contest than a will might be.

Protection against court-imposed conservatorships. Your revocable living trust can provide for the care of your minor children in the way that you judge will be best. A court-imposed conservatorship is likely without such an arrangement. And the court, very possibly, may not know or choose to follow your wishes. Also, conservatorships must terminate at a particular age as defined by the state, and the child then gets the assets. This may be a formula for disaster.

Uninterrupted Care
Your trust will work for you during your lifetime, and you can be assured that it will continue to work for your family after your death. The possible arrangements you can make are very broad. A revocable living trust lets you decide and plan how to protect your assets and family.

Trustee Duties
As trustee (or co-trustee) of your revocable living trust, the following should be done:

  • Collect all your trust income

  • Distribute the income, or reinvest it, as directed in your trust document

  • Maintain complete records for your trust

  • Prepare your trust’s tax returns

  • Keep your trust assets safe in our custody

  • Work with your trusted advisor to adhere to your investment objectives

A revocable living trust can be your flexible problem-solver — providing continuing investment management, protection for your financial affairs if you become disabled, simplified management for your estate, and more. You always have overall control because of your continuing option to make any changes you need.

Revocable Living Trust

Marital Trust

Family Trust

Generation Skipping Trust

Dynasty Trust

Life Insurance Trust

Charitable Trusts

Special Needs Trusts