Charlotte Today Show: Greg, Colleen and Eugene talk about protecting assets with Trusts. Also get the FREE Trust Planning Map! mcelderlaw.com/trustmap
Eugene: Well, many of you may have already drafted up your will, but how do you know if you should also have a trust?
Colleen: Here to tell us more is Greg McIntyre with McIntyre Elder Law. Good morning to you, Greg. Thanks for being here on Charlotte Today.
Greg McIntyre: Good morning.
Colleen: Good morning.
Greg McIntyre: How you doing Colleen, Eugene?
Colleen: Great, thank you.
Greg McIntyre: Very glad to be here today.
Colleen: Let’s start with this. What is a trust?
Greg McIntyre: Sure. A trust is a legal document or container, if you will, that can contain any real estate, money, any property, stocks, bonds. Really anything that you have or accumulate, you can place in a trust or leave to someone in a trust.
Eugene: Okay, so here it is. You have a will but you can also do that very same thing in a trust. So what is the difference between a will and trust?
Greg McIntyre: Sure. So let’s say in a will that I leave everything to my 18 year old son.
Greg McIntyre: Right? And maybe if I’m able to make a little money during my life, I don’t know about you, but at 18 years old I might not have been really wise with how I spent my money. I heard you talking about your son at college and this and that. Right and what he wanted to do, right? I would have probably gone to Myrtle Beach and just blown it all, at the time, on something silly, you know?
Greg McIntyre: Really. I wasn’t even sophisticated with my taste at that point. Love Myrtle Beach though. Okay. So, a will will allow you to one-off give things like that. You can place trust in wills called testamentary trust, but mainly the idea of a trust is avoiding probate, not going through the public court system, which a will does. So wills are public, trusts are private, privately administering them.
Greg McIntyre: Right. So that you do that in the privacy within your family or with an attorney. It depends on your goals. What are your goals? Do you have a hundred acre farm that you want to remain farmland in the family for generations or do you want the son-in-law to turn it into a golf course? Do you want to curse an 18 year old child or grandchild with a lot of money or do you want to make sure that that trust is discretionary and pays for health, education, and welfare until say they reached 25 and then after that starts giving them that money in increments over say a 10 year period or over their life.
Colleen: So, is there more control with the trust then?
Greg McIntyre: You can control… My law professor used to call it dead hand control. Like a hand sticking up from the grave, which is maybe a little bit of a morbid but it illustrates the concept.
Eugene: Oh, I get the… Oh, okay. Yeah.
Greg McIntyre: You can control your money and property well beyond your life.
Colleen: So let me ask you this then. Why would someone need a trust? Why would they choose putting the assets in a trust over a will?
Greg McIntyre: Some people get to a point where they have enough assets that they want to protect them from tax liability. Trusts are good at doing that. Or you may want to protect real estate and keep it a certain way over time. You may want to do what we were talking about, make sure the kids or grandkids go to college. Then start giving it to them after they get more education and life experience, some of the money in the body or the Corpus of the trust, the principle of the trust.
Greg McIntyre: So it depends on your goals. It really depends on what your goals are. Many people that come in, they know they have to have a trust. They want a trust, that’s what’s for them. They don’t. They really aren’t in a situation where they need a trust. There are other, maybe more simple means to accomplish those goals. But I wanted to talk about trusts today because they are a little more complicated planning tools that can really help people achieve their goals and what they want with their money and property even well beyond their lifetimes. Right.
Eugene: Does an executor deal with a will as they do with the trust the same way?
Greg McIntyre: Trustee.
Greg McIntyre: So there’s some different types of trusts. I would say there’s a revocable and irrevocable trust. Many different types. We’ll talk about those.
Eugene: So, let’s talk about the irrevocable, revocable trust then.
Greg McIntyre: Sure. So revocable trust, you’re the trustee, not the executor. That’s the will. Your the trustee, say during your life maybe for a revocable living trust and you control it so you have your hand in the trust. You can take things out of it and you can put things into it. You can break it. Because of that, it’s not protected from say if Medicaid had to come in and pay for five years of nursing home care. It would be an asset, accountable asset, and a recoverable asset. So, it’s not protection there but it does allow a lot of control. Irrevocable. You have a third party trustee and it is more of a protected asset and it offers more protection there.
Colleen: Greg, you offer a trust planning map. What is that?
Greg McIntyre: Trust planning map. We worked on that hard over the last week. That’s my ideas on the differences between irrevocable, revocable trust. If you want to take a look at it with your family or yourself and see if a trust is right for you and those differences. Even has a spot to write down your goals and get into that. So you can get that by going to mcelderlaw.com/trustmap, mccelderlaw.com/trustmap. We worked very hard to bring that to the viewers. It’s hot off my desk. It’s some of my thoughts visually and written on trust and the differences.
Colleen: You also wrote a book called Saving the Farm. That covers a lot of these issues. You see the cover of that book right there. If you go to mcelderlaw.com/trustmap, as Greg mentioned, you’ll get the free copy of the trust map and a free e-copy of this book, Saving the Farm. Something that Greg is proud to bring you and offer to you for free today for Charlotte Today viewers. Thank you so much for being here this morning.
Greg McIntyre: Thank you very much guys. I appreciate it.