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Protecting Your Heirs

Most people want to leave their family members an inheritance in a way that is the most beneficial for their heirs. This usually means a method that preserves the inheritance and protects it from being wasted or taken away by someone else. Trusts are a great way to do this.

Property that is given to an heir by will or through automatic means, such as a pay on death account or life insurance, is given to the heir or beneficiary outright. As soon as he or she gets it, all of the money can be spent or taken away. It is treated just like any other assets that the heir has. However, when something is left in trust, the assets can be protected. A recent article in the Green Bay Press Gazette, titledin Inheriting in trust can protect beneficiary,” listed some of the things a trust can protect against.

The list includes:

  • Bankruptcy – Many trusts do not count as assets during bankruptcy.
  • Divorce – Trusts can be structured in a way such that an ex-spouse does not have any right to principle in the trust.
  • Lawsuits – Trust assets are normally not subject to legal judgments.
  • Bad Decisions – Trusts can be set up to only allow distributions for specific purposes, such as educational and medical expenses.
  • Young Age – Trusts can be used to only allow the beneficiary to receive the bulk of the inheritance when he or she is old enough to spend it wisely.

The list is not all-inclusive. The bottom line is that a trust provides far more potential asset protection than an outright inheritance. Depending upon the needs of your family, an elder law or estate planning attorney can create a trust for you that protects assets and preserves them for your beneficiaries.

Reference: Green Bay Press Gazette (August 25, 2014) “Inheriting in trust can protect beneficiary

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I heard Cindy’s presentation at a Senior Luncheon at my church, and was very impressed. She helped my daughter and me understand many aspects of elder law. Josh has also been very helpful in my planning to enter an independent living situation . I have told many friends about them.

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The very best elder law attorney and staff anyone could ever ask for! I have referred a number of clients to Cindy and she never disappoints. She is kind, caring, and extremely thorough in making sure everything is completed as it should be. I highly recommend Cindy for anyone needing lawyer services; she truly goes above and beyond for every client she helps and has had a huge impact in so many peoples’ lives. Thank you, Cindy and staff, for everything that you do- I’m so glad to know you!

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