Legal Guidance On Irrevocable Trusts

Trusts can be valuable and beneficial estate planning tools. The creator of a trust (trustor) places assets into a trust and then designates a trustee to manage the trust for the benefit of assigned beneficiaries. Trusts can be revocable (a living trust) or irrevocable. The benefits of trusts can include:

  • Minimizing costs and time in probate proceedings
  • Peace of mind
  • Preserving assets for future generations
  • Estate tax benefits
  • Guidance in the event a trustor becomes incapacitated
  • Providing for those with special needs

The estate planning attorneys at Stephenson Fournier are experienced in creating, funding and administrating trusts to accommodate the needs of their clients. If you are interested in learning more about trusts and other estate planning tools, please contact us to consult with a skilled Texas trusts lawyer.

What Kinds Of Irrevocable Trusts Are Available?

Our attorneys have experience with all forms of irrevocable trusts. A few examples are these:

An individual who owns a life insurance policy on his or her own life needs to be aware that proceeds from the policy will be included in his or her taxable estate unless he or she takes action. Creating an irrevocable life insurance trust (ILIT) and transferring ownership of the policy to the trust can remove the life insurance proceeds from the estate.

A well-meaning parent can inadvertently disqualify his or her special needs child from receiving government benefits. A third-party special needs trust, also called a supplemental needs trust, allows a person to leave assets to a disabled beneficiary while preserving the public benefits available to that beneficiary and enhancing the quality of the beneficiary's life.

A charitable remainder trust generally has two beneficiaries. In most cases, one of them is the person creating the trust (and possibly his or her spouse), and the other is a qualified charity or tax-exempt organization. During the trustor's lifetime, he receives a set percentage of income from the charitable trust. Upon death, the charity receives whatever is left over.

Generation-skipping trusts, sometimes known as dynasty trusts, can be another effective estate planning tool. A generation-skipping trust is exactly what it sounds like — a trust in which a grantor's assets are locked up in a trust to be transferred to the grantor's grandchildren, while skipping the grantor's children. They are sometimes used to reduce estate taxes while protecting assets from generation to generation as they appreciate in value.

Contact Texas Trust Attorneys

If you are in the Houston, Texas, area, and are in need of a trust planning lawyer, we would be happy to speak with you about your goals. Please call, or contact our estate planning lawyers today.