Estate Planning & Trust Services
Do I need a trust?
With a trust, a trustee holds title to property and manages the assets of the trust for the benefit of a beneficiary. Therefore, trusts can be a good planning tool when you are planning for minors, financially immature beneficiaries, elderly, and/or disabled beneficiaries. There are three types of trusts:
(1) Testamentary trusts are trusts created by Will. These trusts are generally a good planning tool when a minor may inherit, or a disabled individual may inherit.
(2) Revocable Trusts are trusts created during an individuals lifetime. A revocable trust can be funded or unfunded. These trusts are generally a good planning tool when you have a mixed family or you are concerned about the future management of assets. Additionally, a revocable trust can provide a main vehicle for probate avoidance purposes. However, with a revocable trust, there are administrative formalities that you must follow.
(3) Irrevocable Trusts are trusts that you cannot revoke or amend. An irrevocable trust is generally a good planning tool to make gifts to beneficiaries without making such assets available to the beneficiaries creditors.
How do I establish a trust?
In Wisconsin, trusts are established and governed by the Wisconsin Trust Code. Wisconsin Statutes Chapter 701. We generally recommend having an attorney draft the trust agreement creating the trust, as it is important for the trust agreement to property lay out how the funds in the trust will be managed, powers of trustees, distribution provisions, etc.
Who would be the trustee of a trust?
The trustee of a trust is the person you select to be responsible for the management and distribution of assets held in trust for the benefit of beneficiaries. When it comes to selecting a trustee you can select an individual or corporate trustee. There are pros and cons to each option. An attorney can discuss these with you further.
Updating Wills Or Trusts
When should my will/trust be updated?
Although estate plans are drafted with an eye toward the future, we generally recommend that clients have their estate plan reviewed and potentially updated every ten years or so as things may change and the estate plan may no longer be meeting their objectives.