A major concern that a person may have as they get older is: What will happen with my assets as I continue to age and after I pass away? One of the main aims of elder-law-related estate planning is to help address such concerns.
Trusts are one of the tools for estate planning that seniors can turn to. There are a variety of different things that trusts may be able to help with in an estate plan, such as retirement planning, asset protection and after-death asset distribution.
Elder law attorneys can help aging individuals figure out whether a trust is a good fit for their estate plan and, if it is, what sort of trust terms would be best suited for them given their goals.
If someone chooses to have a trust, he or she may wish to give clear instruction regarding the terms of the trust, such as the end terms.
A trust can contain terms directing when it will terminate. Such terms can set a specific termination date or identify specific conditions that will terminate the trust, such as the beneficiaries reaching a certain age or life milestone.
Another aspect to consider is what will happen with property in the trust when the trust ends. Instruction generally should be included on the distribution of any leftover property. If a trust contains no terms regarding this issue, it will be up to the trustee and the beneficiaries to work out the specifics of the distribution.
A benefit to working with an attorney with a background in elder law and estate planning is that such a lawyer can provide an unbiased view on how to best meet someone’s estate goals and can provide insight on how to best word the terms of a trust.
Source: FindLaw, “How Does a Trust End?,” Jan. 14, 2015