Trusts are not created equal; make sure your estate plan will work when it needs to.
You may have a trust that no longer serves its purpose. This happens for a few different reasons:
- Poor Set-up. The drafting attorney didn’t listen or understand to your wishes.
- Too Much Legalese. The language in the trust is either unintelligible or too ambiguous, which can cause issues; and
- Laws Have Changed. A change in the tax laws or a change in family situations can mean that the document wasn’t created in a way to adapt to a shifting environment.
While the law doesn’t change much when it comes to estate planning, family circumstances can and do change. As a result, there is a need to revisit your plan every time there is a major change in either the law or your life circumstances. We offer complimentary trust reviews to our clients every 3 years, or sooner if a change in the law requires it.
Even if the law or life has not changed all that significantly for you, it’s still wise to periodically review your trust with your estate planning attorney. After all, it is the attorney that may be aware of
The use of trusts is not always a simple matter, but if changes are needed because the trusts are not working for the family’s benefit, you’ll want to review them with an estate planning attorney who helps clients with trusts. A second opinion may be warranted. You want to be sure that the trusts follow the wishes of the family, while also solving tax and distribution issues.
Reference: Forbes (October 17, 2018) “Why You Might Need To Fix Your Family Trusts”