A Worcester Trust Attorney Can Help Protect and Preserve Your Assets

Using valuable tools for estate planning and wealth management

A trust is a frequently misunderstood yet extremely valuable estate planning and wealth management tool. In a trust, ownership and control of property is given to a trustee — either an individual or a corporation — to hold and manage for the benefit of one or more beneficiaries. The trustee must act in accordance with the terms of a trust document and also has a fiduciary duty to act in the best interests of the beneficiaries. There are many reasons why people use trusts, but regardless of your reasons, having thorough and clear documents drafted by an experienced trust lawyer is critical to your success. At Gould & Ettenberg, P.C., our attorneys have assisted individuals and organizations throughout the Worcester area in effectively using trusts to avoid probate, provide for young or disabled beneficiaries, fund charitable pursuits and protect assets.

Types of trusts

While there are dozens of recognized types of trusts, these arrangements tend to fall into several broad categories:

  • Testamentary trusts — These types of trusts are usually created by wills, often to prevent young or disabled beneficiaries from receiving their inheritances outright. These types of trusts come into existence when the deceased’s will is probated and are usually funded with estate property.
  • Inter vivos (living) trusts — Inter vivos trusts are those made while the grantor is still alive. They are usually created by a separate trust document and have many forms and uses. These types of trusts can be used to minimize estate taxes, simplify estate administration by keeping assets out of probate or donate property to loved ones while still retaining some degree of control over it.
  • Revocable trusts — Revocable trusts are trusts that can be amended or revoked by the grantor at any time. These trusts do not provide much in the way of asset protection benefits but do allow the grantor unrestricted access to trust property should it become necessary. Revocable trusts become irrevocable upon the death of the grantor.
  • Irrevocable trusts — Irrevocable trusts cannot be modified or revoked by the grantor. This makes them useful for asset protection and tax planning purposes but also requires the grantor to surrender a greater degree of control over the trust property. Insurance trusts, for instance, can be useful for excluding life insurance proceeds from estate taxation. Likewise, irrevocable trusts may protect assets from creditors or from Medicaid expenses or liens.

These categories are not mutually exclusive. For instance, an inter vivos trust can be either revocable or irrevocable, although a testamentary trust is always irrevocable upon death. An experienced trust lawyer can help you choose and establish the type most appropriate to accomplish your goals.

Fiduciary issues

In addition to assisting grantors in creating trusts, Gould & Ettenberg also provides legal counsel and representation to trustees regarding administration issues. A trust lawyer from our firm can help trustees understand their fiduciary obligations and can provide litigation defense for trustees accused of breaching their fiduciary duties. We also assist beneficiaries who believe their trustees are mismanaging trust property or otherwise breaching the trust agreement.

We can help you manage wealth through effective use of trusts

At Gould & Ettenberg, P.C., we understand how to use various types of trusts to effectively accomplish the estate planning, asset protection, wealth management and philanthropic goals of our clients in the Worcester area. Contact us by phone at 508-752-6733 or contact us online to set up a consultation with a caring and experienced attorney today. We are conveniently located in downtown Worcester with easy access to both state and federal courthouses as well as convenient parking.