Virginia Beach Trusts Attorneys
We Are Here to Help You Plan for the Future
At TrustBuilders Law Group, we understand that you have worked hard your whole life to provide for your family and make sure your loved ones will be financially secure after you pass away. However, without the right types of trust in your estate plan, your hard-earned assets and properties might end up in the hands of the IRS, creditors, or state taxing authorities. That is why it is crucial to consult with a seasoned lawyer at our law firm to discuss all of your planning options so we can determine which trust will maximize your estate planning strategy.
What Are the Benefits of a Trust?
Trusts are versatile tools that have a variety of applications. Some of the benefits of using a trust include:
- Avoiding the probate process for assets in a trust
- Minimizing tax liability to maximize the value you transfer to beneficiaries
- Allowing you to specify conditions on asset distribution or other stipulations
- Shielding your assets from lawsuits or creditors
Learn more about the different types of trusts and the ways it can help protect you, your assets, and your beneficiaries.
Types of Trusts
Revocable Living Trusts
Revocable living trusts are legal documents that are completely separate from wills, though they often work hand in hand with wills to carry out the decedent’s wishes. Clients often come to us to set up revocable living trusts so they can avoid the hassle of probate, particularly if they own real estate in several states.
Irrevocable Life Insurance Trusts
People are often under the assumption that life insurance proceeds are not subject to Federal Estate Taxes. Although the proceeds loved ones receive are free of any income taxes, they are countable as part of the decedent's taxable estate. Therefore, the loved ones who receive the life insurance funds can end up losing as much as half of the policy’s value to estate taxes.
However, if you create an Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust (ILIT), you can own your life insurance policy. A properly established and administered trust holds the policy outside of your estate and keeps the proceeds from being taxable to your estate. The proceeds from the insurance policy can then be used to provide your estate with the liquidity to:
- Pay estate taxes
- Pay off debts
- Pay final expenses
- Provide income to a surviving spouse or children
The ILIT will be the policy owner and beneficiary. After you establish the trust, you can use your annual gift tax exclusion to make cash gifts to your trust. With this strategy, beneficiaries forgo the present gift and the trustee uses the remaining gift to pay the premium on the life insurance policy. ILITs can also be structured to provide income to a surviving spouse with the remainder going to children from a previous marriage. You can even set up an ILIT to distribute a limited amount of the insurance proceeds over a period of time if you are worried your child might be financially irresponsible.
Qualified Personal Residence Trusts
A Qualified Personal Residence Trust (QPRT) allows you to give away your house or vacation home at a great discount, freeze its value for estate tax purposes, and still continue to live in it.
With a QPRT, You transfer the title to your house to the trust while reserving the right to live in the house for a specified number of years. After you live in the home for the specified amount of time, it will pass on to your children or other beneficiaries without incurring additional estate or gift taxes.
At the end of the specified period, you can continue to live in the home but you will have to pay rent to your family or designated beneficiary to avoid having to include the residence in your estate. The benefit of this trust is that it can reduce the value of your taxable estate, though the rent income does have income tax consequences for your family.
Another benefit of the QPRT is that it also serves as an excellent asset/creditor protection vehicle since you no longer technically own the property once the trust is established and your residence is transferred to the QPRT.
Trusts for Minors
Clients throughout Virginia Beach turn to our skilled attorneys to devise comprehensive strategies for leaving money to their children or their grandchildren in a trust. This is typically done to make sure the money will be there for the children’s benefit for things like support, education, medical expenses, etc. Once the children reach a certain age or achievement level (such as obtaining a bachelor’s degree), they can take money out of the trust to do with as they please.
Spendthrift trusts are usually created to protect the beneficiaries’ assets from both themselves and creditors. Spendthrift trusts have an independent trustee who has complete control over the distribution of assets held in the trust.
Special Needs Trusts
Do you have a special needs individual in your life? If so, you should reach out to our legal team to discuss adding a special needs trust so that you can leave property to this individual. If the special individual receives government benefits and they suddenly inherit money, then they would likely be disqualified from those benefits until the inheritance is spent. Special needs trusts protect those individuals’ government benefits while allowing them to have money for any extras they may need.
Do I Need a Trust If I Have a Will?
While a trust can provide extensive protections, it may still be a good idea to include a will as a part of your estate plan.
A will can cover things that aren't included in a trust, such as designating guardians for a minor children. Your will can be used to specify someone you trust to raise your children.
Another reason to have a will is so that you can cover any property that is not under a trust. You may not have transferred all property into a trust, or may have acquired property shortly before you pass away - a will can cover all your bases to ensure that property is transferred to your rightful beneficiaries.
A Family Name That You Can Trust
The Buxton Family has been serving greater Hampton Roads in law or medicine for over 100 years. We are a 5th generation family committed to supporting the local community. Let our family legacy help build your family legacy.
A Price You Can Afford
TrustBuilders Law Group takes pride in offering modern estate planning at affordable prices. Our plans are prepared at a competitive, value-based flat-fee so you will never have to worry about hourly rates surprise bills.
A Staff With Experience and Credentials
TrustBuilders Law Group has one of the most experienced legal teams in the area. In addition to over 100 years of combined experience, we are the only firm in Hampton Roads with both a Master of Laws in estate planning and Certified Elder Law Attorney on staff.
A Plan With Your Goals in Mind
TrustBuilders Law Group specializes in creating custom estate plans that focus on your wealth preservations goals. Unlike many boilerplates seen in the marketplace, our documents are state specific, tailored to your needs and contain cutting-edge solutions.