TRIGGER LIST

  1. Protections for family members (against divorce, creditors, spendthrift behavior, etc.).
  2. Disability – Special Needs Trust – this will allow a disabled beneficiary to continue tor eceive SSI and Medicaid
  3. Divorce – redo estate plan; guaranty that your children will inherit your estate
  4. Surviving parent has died – probate or trust administration
  5. If someone has died – probate or trust administration
  6. Named asset manager in the trust document – if your client wants you to continue managing the assets after his/her death, I draft an article in the trust naming the client’s financial advisor as the trust’s asset investment manager. You simply continue to manage the trust’s liquid assets as you do now (depending on the terms of the trust your asset management may be multi-generational); there is a trustee separate from you – a firewall keeps the trustee and financial manager from being liable for the other’s actions
  7. Amend or restate trust to reflect change in tax laws for old trusts – estate tax likely not
    to be applicable, so the trust needs to be changed (amended) to obtain an income tax
    advantage (a double step up in basis)
  8. Consider the advantages of a trust – asset protection for your client’s beneficiaries, such as protection in the event of a beneficiary’s divorce; protection from the beneficiary’s creditors; protection from the beneficiary’s incapacity; protection from financial predators.
  9. IRA and trusts – again consider the advantages of a trust for the IRA asset (and the beneficiary is unable to cash the IRA out unless the trustee agrees that would be a good idea for an emergency)
  10. Income taxes and trusts – it is very important to draft a trust such that the beneficiaries get a full step up in basis
  11. Adoption or birth of a child or grandchild – may need to change the estate plan to accommodate an adopted or recently born child
  12. Starting a business – business formation; tax consequences; asset protection
  13. Starting or ending a business; retirement, death or disability of the owner or partial owner - business succession planning, buy sell agreements
  14. Periodically review the estate plan – changes in the law, changes in the family dynamics

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