A Legacy Trust: Making Your Estate Last For Generations

What is a Dynasty Trust?

A great estate planning tool is a revocable living trust called a Dynasty Trust designed to last for multiple generations.  The Dynasty Trust contains a special provision for the continuation of the trust after your death for the benefit of your children and beyond. 

What is a Legacy Trust?

At your death, the Dynasty Trust creates a separate “Legacy Trust” from the original trust for the benefit of each beneficiary you name. 

The Legacy Trust protects the assets in the Legacy Trust in several ways:

  • Protects against creditors of the beneficiary,
  • Protects from estate and death taxes at the death of the beneficiary,
  • Protects against claims of their spouses in the event of a divorce,
  • Insulate assets in the trust from being deemed “available resources” in the event the beneficiary seeks public assistance under Medicaid for nursing home care. 

Who Manages a Legacy Trust?

A child or other family member may serve as the trustee to manage their Legacy Trust, and as such, will have full discretion in the investment and use of the assets in the trust. 

The beneficiary is entitled to the income from the trust and has the right to withdraw principle for their health support, maintenance, and education of themselves and their descendants. 

How Does a Legacy Trust Transfer to the Next Generations?

The beneficiary of a Legacy Trust can use their Will to direct how the Legacy Trust shall pass to their children at their death.  They can “appoint” the trust outright or in further trust to their children or any descendant.  In other words, they can leave the Legacy Trust to anyone in the family.  They can even be given limited authority to leave the property in the trust for the benefit of their spouse.  This additional power may be appropriate where the beneficiary has no children.

Tax Advantages of Legacy Trusts

Legacy Trusts are designed to minimize the risk of federal and state estate taxes at your death up to the individual generation skipping tax exemption permitted by law.  This exemption is presently $11.7 million (as of 2021), plus a factor for inflation.  However, if your estate exceeds the exemption it is important that the beneficiary discuss this fact with their attorney, a tax advisor, or CPA at the time the Legacy Trust is to be created.

Contact Us to Learn More About Creating a Trust

If you have additional questions regarding using a Legacy Trust for your children after your death or other estate planning matters, please feel free to contact us. We can discuss your concerns and help you create a trust that meets your needs. 

Schedule a consultation today.

Joseph T. Buxton III is the founder of TrustBuilders Law Group, Buxton and Buxton, PC with offices in Virginia Beach, Yorktown, Williamsburg and Saluda, VA.