Establishing a Trust in Massachusetts

Many individuals can use a will to pass along their property and name guardians for their children. However, when the assets are substantial enough to trigger state or federal estate taxes, our Boston attorneys advise clients to consider establishing trusts, depending on the situation. A primary reason to use a trust instrument rather than a will is that it saves taxes--money that can then be transferred to heirs.

A trust can have a number of benefits, especially in circumstances involving substantial assets or special needs of heirs.

Another reason that people use trusts is that they provide more control over how the property or money is used by the heirs. A trust can stipulate when and how distributions of assets should be made. It can care for a special needs child, protect an heir with financial or substance abuse problems from creditors, and preserve assets in the event of a beneficiary's divorce. To learn more about the benefits of establishing a trust as a vehicle for transferring your wealth to your heirs, contact us at Taylor, Ganson & Perrin, LLP.

There are many types of trusts, although they can be said to fall into two categories--living trusts established during the testator's lifetime, and testamentary trusts that come into being after a will is probated. Our attorneys work with all types of trusts, tailoring the provisions of the trust instrument to the specific needs and circumstances of our clients. Some of the most popular trusts include:

  • Revocable living trusts in effect during the grantor's lifetime, with the assets that would have been transferred in a will funding the trust. These can be revoked at any time. These trusts avoid the time and cost of probate, providing for a faster distribution of assets.
  • Irrevocable living trusts require that the grantor part with all control over the assets in the trust, including the right to change the provisions of the trust. These types of trusts usually convey greater tax advantages than revocable living trusts, and can be used to achieve a number of financial and family goals.
  • Qualified personal residence trusts are appropriate for individuals who own substantial property. This type of trust allows the grantor to use the property, and then pass it along to heirs before death with a value set at the establishment of the trust, avoiding tax on the appreciated value.
  • Grantor retained annuity trusts are similar to qualified personal residence trusts in that they benefit the grantor during his or her lifetime, with only the original value of the funds taxed when the assets are transferred to beneficiaries.

To discuss establishing a trust that meets your family and financial needs, contact our Boston law firm, Taylor, Ganson & Perrin, LLP.

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