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Know how trusts can impact your estate plan

Your estate plan can help your family members to close out your estate faster than what is possible without an estate plan. It is imperative that you have everything together so that your loved ones are able to abide by your wishes once you are gone. We know this might not be fun to think about, but it won't be as painful as you may think.

Know when to use a blind trust

When President Donald Trump took office, many people were up in arms about his business dealings. Presidents before him have taken steps to move away from handling the daily operations of the businesses they owned, but it seemed as though President Trump might have bucked that tradition. Ultimately, he opted to use a blind trust for some of his personal business holdings.

3 reasons to consider a trust in your estate planning

Trusts are often one of the most misunderstood elements of the estate planning process. Many people assume trusts are just a fancier form of a will, but trusts don't usually replace a will and they are used to meet different goals in the estate planning process. Here are three reasons you might want to consider a trust.

Are trusts divorce-proof?

It's not uncommon for individuals to use trusts to shelter assets from a spouse should divorce occur. In some cases, trusts might be used to protect your own assets from the marriage, especially in situations where people are marrying later and both parties have already built up substantial assets or businesses. Perhaps even more commonly, individuals might use trusts to leave wealth to adult children while protecting it from the adult child's spouse.

As a trustee, you have fiduciary responsibilities

If someone names you as a trustee in one's estate planning, then you could later be called on to take on a large responsibility. Before you agree to such an assignment, make sure you understand what burdens you might carry and ensure that you are able to do so correctly. While you might feel obligated to say yes to a loved one, especially because you're flattered they would ask, saying yes to a trustee title and being unable to handle it can be bad for the beneficiaries.

Leaving your IRA to charity

If you'd like to leave a charitable legacy while also protecting your heirs from tax burdens, it's a good idea to carefully consider how you divvy assets up during estate planning. In some cases, you can leave an asset to charity without the charity having to pay taxes on it, but if you leave the same assets to heirs, taxes might be owed.

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