Can you summerize the value of using a trust in the circumstances described?

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 8,378
    Estate Expert William Conway discusses the value of using a trust in the circumstances described.

    Host: Can you summarize the value of using a trust in the circumstances described?

    William Conway: Well, as we said at the outset, the biggest mistake is the failure of the plan and the biggest mistake a failure of plan because people fail to plan for disability. When people are out of control, people fail to plan for the circumstances or events that can occur after death such as accidental disinheritance and assets falling into the hands of someone who is already him or herself incapacitated and people fail to plan for purposes of taxation. Well, the use of the trust provides a mechanism to prevent all of those bad things from occurring. First of all, in the circumstance of an incapacity we have in place a set of instructions within the trust. The trust simply determines who will be the successor trustee in the circumstance of an incapacity or of the disability of the person who has created the trust. Number two, in the circumstance of death, there will be a continuing trust, should there be a surviving spouse. That continuing trust would prevent the possibility of accidental disinheritance. It prevents the possibility of accidental disinheritance because the property will not be given the surviving spouse outright, but rather it will be held in a trust for his or her benefit. That trust being held for his or her benefit may and most often is the trust that is setup for the surviving spouse is actually has that surviving spouse as the trustee. So, all the assets are available to that spouse, but should that spouse remarry, they will not be able to be part of that spouse s estate, they will not be able to be part of any divorce that may occur if that second marriage does not succeed and they will not be able to be taxed. Oh, that is a thought, why are not they going to be able to be taxed? Because as we talk before because the nature of the separation of the property and we use the example earlier of someone who had a three million dollars assets within a family, one and a half million belonged to the husband that we had assumed that died first. He left that in a trust for the benefitor s surviving spouse, his wife. His wife was the trustee of that, had that money available for her for the balance of her life and despite the fact that she never needed to withdraw money from that or if she always needed to draw money from that, whatever the balance of that money was in the circumstance for death was going to be immuned from all of the estate taxes no matter what the law was at the time she passed away. So, the three gremlins of estate planning, the loss of control in the circumstance of incapacity, the loss of control of assets in the circumstance of death and the loss of control the assets in the circumstance of taxation, all of which are solved by using the revocable trust mechanism to control and hold assets.