A Trust is a legal document that specifies how assets placed into it will be managed and by whom. There are many kinds of trusts, including Revocable, Irrevocable and Charitable Remainder Annuity Trusts.
Most common is the Revocable Living Trust. A revocable living trust is a popular estate planning tool that you can use to determine who will get your property when you pass away. Most living trusts are “revocable” because you can change them as your circumstances or wishes change. Revocable living trusts are “living” because you make them during your lifetime. An Irrevocable Trust requires you allow a separate Trustee to manage your financial affairs while you are still living.
Trusts can help survivors avoid probate. Probate is the court-supervised process of wrapping up a person’s estate. Probate can be expensive, time consuming, and is often more of a burden than a help. Property left through a living trust can pass to beneficiaries without probate.
A Charitable Remainder Trust is a form of trust used as a financial and tax-planning tool to achieve a number of goals, while also providing an income for your lifetime. In addition to the financial and tax incentives you will receive during your lifetime, you will also have the satisfaction of knowing that, after you pass on, the A.R.E. will receive the remaining assets in the Trust.
The advantages of a trust are many:
- You can receive income for life and avoid capital gains taxes if you fund the trust with appreciated securities (stocks, bonds, mutual funds).
- Lessen estate taxes, if properly planned, all while knowing that your funds will eventually help to make the world a better place.
- Charitable remainder trusts have the added benefit of providing an immediate charitable income tax deduction.
In addition to cash and stock, a Trust can also be funded with real estate. For example, you may wish to donate property but get some money back (called a bargain sale), or you may wish to donate your home now to A.R.E./A.U./E.C.F., but retain the right to live in it the rest of your life (called Retained Life Estate Deed or Transfer on Death). In this way, you enjoy the tax benefits while you are living.
Only an attorney licensed to practice in your state of residence can advise you as to the type of Trust that will best meet your long-term estate planning goals and needs, specific to your age, income and other unique circumstances.
Please note, the information on this site is not intended to be legal or financial advice. If you decide to support the Association for Research and Enlightenment, Inc., the Edgar Cayce Foundation, or Atlantic University through a legacy gift, please consult your attorney or tax advisor. They are in the best position to assess your personal situation and provide guidance. A.R.E., the Edgar Cayce Foundation, and Atlantic University are all 501 (c) (3) tax exempt public charities.