Make us your home page
Instagram

A checklist for reviewing your trust

One of the best ways to leave assets to your heirs is to establish a trust. But once you've created one, it's important not to let it sit there without reviewing it periodically.

A trust is a legal relationship in which a person or trust company holds property for his or her own benefit or that of a beneficiary.

Trusts can be revocable or irrevocable. A revocable trust can be changed at any time by the person who created it. An irrevocable trust can't be changed or terminated before the time specified in the trust.

You should review your estate plan anytime there's a change in the family or your assets, said Marvin Blum, an estate planning attorney.

Here are things you should consider:

The trustee's role is the most important within a trust. The trustee should be held to the highest standards. This trustee has to handle lots of record keeping, accounting, tax planning and filings, and investment decisions, so you want someone with business skills. You don't want someone who has been convicted of a felony or a crime of moral turpitude, or who is being treated for a drug, alcohol, gambling or other dependency disorder.

The trustee has the delicate job of distributing assets from the trust, so he or she must be able to navigate relationships with beneficiaries, who might be unhappy with how much they receive.

You can hire a professional trustee, such as bank, trust company or lawyer to provide objectivity, of someone connected to your family. It's also a good idea to consider a backup trustee.

Does the trust protect your heirs from lawsuits and divorce claims? "If you leave your inheritance outright to your children, then it's not protected, but if you leave it to your trust for your children and grandchildren, then it is protected from lawsuits and divorce," Blum said.

A checklist for reviewing your trust 04/25/14 [Last modified: Sunday, April 27, 2014 7:49pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Tribune News Service.
    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Aramis Ayala defends stance against death penalty: 'I did what I believe was proper'

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Aramis Ayala, the elected Orlando prosecutor who refuses to seek the death penalty, defended her actions Wednesday as she faced a flurry of hostile questions from Florida Supreme Court justices.

    Orlando prosecutor Aramis Ayala, far right, said she was "very well pleased" with her lawyer's case. "I violated no laws." [STEVE BOUSQUET | Tampa Bay Times]
  2. Tampa Chamber of Commerce offers boost to black and Hispanic-owned businesses

    Economic Development

    TAMPA — There's a disconnect in Hillsborough County's minority business community.

    Gaston Meredith of Gaston's Culinary Services listens to LaKendria Robinson, Director of Minority Business Accelerator & Economic Inclusion during an information session at the Robert W. Saunders Library in Tampa on Tuesday.
[OCTAVIO JONES   |   Times]
  3. Wesley Chapel, Greater Pasco chambers of commerce merge

    Business

    LAND O'LAKES — Two chambers of commerce representing more than 850 business members from west Pasco to Wesley Chapel and New Tampa are merging into a single organization.

    Greater Wesley Chapel Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Hope Allen will lead the combined chambers of commerce announced Wednesday. The yet-to-be-named chamber will represent more than 850 businesses that currenlty are members of the Greater Pasco and Greater Wesley Chapel chambers.
[JAMES BORCHUCK   |   Times]
  4. Sign up for our new daily News at Noon email newsletter

    News

    The Tampa Bay Times will soon launch a daily newsletter called News at Noon. You can make sure to be among the first to receive it by signing up now.

  5. Bitcoin, ransomware fraudster Anthony Murgio of Tampa sentenced to prison

    Business

    Tampa's Anthony Murgio, 33, was sentenced Tuesday to 5-1/2 years in prison for running a bitcoin exchange suspected of laundering money for a group of hackers who targeted publishing and financial firms as part of a complex securities fraud.

    Anthony Murgio of Tampa, 33, was sentenced Tuesday to 5 1/2 years in prison for running a Bitcoin exchange suspected of laundering money for a group of hackers who targeted publishing and financial firms as part of a complex securities fraud. [AP photo]