An irrevocable trust isn’t something that most people consider. The average individual won’t have any need for such an arrangement, nor would they want one. It commits assets forever, can never be changed, and once the trust is established individuals have no control over it at all – it’s managed by a trustee.
The trust has 3 involved parties. The first is the creator of the trust. The second is the trustee. The third is the beneficiary of the trust. There are only 3 reasons that an individual should establish an irrevocable trust.
Minimize Estate Taxes
This is an opportunity for the wealthy to purchase life insurance that can be used to help them avoid paying probate fees and estate taxes when they die. It can also provide an individual with a steady stream of tax-free income for a set amount of time, with any remaining funds going to a charity of their choice.
Government Program Eligibility
An irrevocable trust is particularly beneficial for the disabled. Individuals receiving Medicaid or Supplemental Security Income have very specific limits on the money and assets a person has. Exceeding those limits means they lose government benefits. An irrevocable trust isn’t counted as income or assets, allowing an individual to continue receiving benefits from government programs.
Protect Assets From Creditors
Individuals that owe significant amounts of money or those that are at risk of frequent lawsuits can obtain protection through an irrevocable trust. That includes medical professional, lawyers, accountants, and public servants, to name a few.
An irrevocable trust doesn’t isn’t a good option unless an individual has a very sizeable estate. There’s also no guarantee that a court won’t be able to claim some of those assets if a judge thinks the individual may have anticipated a lawsuit. Many states require that a trust own funds for at least two years before they’re considered protected. The trusts can also represent considerable cost, since it will require the serves of an accountant.
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