Trusts | The Building Blocks of Estate Planning

Estate planners are asked many questions about trusts — mostly surrounding what they are and whether or not people actually need them. In Lefkoff Duncan Partner Stacy Hanley’s latest webinar, The Building Blocks of Estate Planning, she answers these questions and more.


Here are some of the highlights from her presentation.


What is a trust?

“I like to think of trusts as protective envelopes,” says Stacy. “You, as the grantor, get to decide what to put in that envelope, and then designate someone, called a trustee, to hold that envelope. You have the authority to instruct the trustee on when they can open the envelope and distribute the assets within it to the people you have listed as beneficiaries. Until specific conditions that you have laid out are met, the assets stay inside.” 


Who do I appoint as my trustee?

The responsibility of being a trustee is a long-term commitment. If you designate a person to fulfill this role rather than a financial institution, this person needs to be trustworthy, diligent, competent, and willing to look out for the best interests of your beneficiaries.


When should I create a trust?

You can either create a trust during your lifetime or by the terms of your will. Living/Inter Vivos Trusts are created during your lifetime. You may have heard of the terms “revocable” or “irrevocable” trusts — these both fall under the category of living trusts. The other type of trust is called a Testamentary Trust, which is created upon your death according to the terms written within your will. 


These trusts provide different benefits and protections, so it’s important to discuss the best option for you and your beneficiaries with your estate planning attorney.


To learn more about the importance of trusts and how to distinguish them, watch the recording of Stacy’s webinar here


If you’re ready to take control of your family’s financial future, Lefkoff-Duncan is here to help. Our experienced team will assist you in all of your estate planning endeavors so that you’ll never again need to wonder if you’ve done enough to take care of the ones you love. Give us a call at your convenience at 404-262-2000 to get started.