The term “trust fund” has become quite loaded when referenced in popular culture. Trust funds are often associated with entitled, wealthy children and grandchildren who are uninterested in working for a living. However, not all trust funds benefit individuals who are uber-wealthy and who spend their days relaxing on someone else’s dime. In fact, many trust funds benefit hard-working kids and grandchildren simply trying to get through school in order to achieve a healthy, financially stable start to adulthood. If you are potentially interested in setting up a trust fund, please consider scheduling a risk-free consultation with an experienced Wytheville, VA estate planning lawyer today.
Trust Funds – The Basics
At its most simple, a trust fund serves as a legal entity in which money and/or other assets are set aside for the benefit of an individual or organization. A “grantor” establishes a trust fund by donating specific property to be held by a “trustee” for the benefit of a “beneficiary.” The trustee is required by law to manage the assets held within the trust in ways that benefit the trust and its named beneficiary or beneficiaries. For example, say that a grandparent wanted to help a grandchild pay for college. That grandparent would serve as a grantor by donating assets to the trust. A named trustee would then manage those assets until the grandchild (serving as beneficiary) either fulfilled the terms of the trust or some other outcome was triggered by the trust’s terms.
One of the reasons that trust funds are beneficial for all involved is that the grantor retains more control over how the funds/assets are managed and distributed than he or she would if a straightforward gift was made. If a grandparent handed a grandchild $15,000 and said, “Here. Use this for your college tuition,” the grandchild would not be legally bound to spend the money on his or her tuition. However, by establishing specific terms of a trust fund, that grandparent can insist that if the money is not used a certain way that the beneficiary will not receive it. It is also worth noting that trust funds generally benefit from significant tax advantages that other legal and financial structures do not. Some individuals choose to work with an experienced Wytheville, VA estate planning lawyer to set up trust funds primarily for these benefits.
Estate Planning Guidance Is Available
If you have questions about trust funds, how trust funds operate and/or whether setting up a trust fund may be in your family’s best interests, please do not hesitate to connect with an experienced Wytheville, VA estate planning lawyer today. Trust funds are significantly misunderstood legal and financial tools, so please avoid making assumptions about whether one may or may not benefit your situation until you have spoken with an attorney experienced in this area of law. What you will learn about trust funds during a confidential consultation may surprise you! Speaking with an attorney does not commit you to any action whatsoever, so please do not hesitate to reach out and connect with an experienced Wytheville, Virginia estate planning lawyer today. Once you have done so, you will be empowered to make whatever informed decision best reflects your family’s needs and best interests. The legal team at The Law Offices of Mark T. Hurt looks forward to speaking with you.
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