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Making the decision regarding trusts in an estate plan

Estate plans are most efficient when they contain all the necessary documents pertaining to a person's particular situation. Some Massachusetts residents might find that including trusts in a comprehensive estate plan could be worth their while. The first order of business is finding out whether a trust would be useful. If so, what type of trust would be best, and who is to be named trustee?

If a trust is in order, a grantor has to decide on a time frame. Should the trust take effect immediately or when the grantor dies? Should the trust be irrevocable or revocable? These are questions that may be best answered in consultation with an estate planning attorney. Also, choosing a trustee takes some thoughtful consideration since the person should have some financial acumen, be trustworthy and will have the time to devote to administering the trust.

A grantor might consider choosing a corporate trustee who has the proper skills to oversee a trust. If the grantor chooses a family member or friend to act as trustee, he or she should consider naming a co-trustee or a secondary trustee. It's a safeguard in case the person named is no longer able to carry out the duties.   

Successful estate planning in Massachusetts requires collaboration among professional advisers, family members and other experts when building the structures -- like trusts -- and strategies that will underpin an individual's legacy. Obtaining the proper legal advice is crucial when setting up a trust since state laws used to draft the trust will impact how the courts view it. Trusts can be complicated but can give a grantor a great deal of peace of mind if set up properly.  

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