O'CONNOR & RIVARD ATTORNEYS PC Kathleen E. O'Connor Brenda M. Rivard
“Advising You and Your Family Through All Life’s Transitions”
|When meeting with clients for their estate planning matters, regardless of age, health or marital status, we always recommend that the clients have a Will, Durable Power of Attorney, Health Care Proxy and a Declaration of Homestead (if they own real estate).|
For clients who have minor or disabled children or grandchildren, we would also recommend that you have either a revocable trust or a testamentary trust in place to receive any share of your estate for the benefit of your children and/or grandchildren.
A revocable trust is a separate trust document which can be funded during your lifetime if desired, but is usually funded at death through your Wills and beneficiary designations. The creators of the trust (grantors, settlors) can amend or revoke the trust during their lifetimes. Since the revocable trust is a separate document from your Will, the terms of the trust are only available to the trustees and beneficiaries. It does not get filed with the court upon your death. The clients are usually the initial trustees and alternate trustees would be named to serve in the event of your own incapacity or death.
A testamentary trust is a trust created within the terms of your Will. Upon your death, your Will will "pour over" assets into the testamentary trust. Since your Will gets filed with the Probate Court upon your death, it becomes a public document. This type of trust is for clients who do not plan to fund a trust for their children or grandchildren during their lifetimes and who are not concerned about privacy.
Some of the reasons to have a trust for minor or disabled children/grandchildren are:
- To ensure that the minor or disabled children/grandchildren are not inheriting assets outright upon your death;
- So that you have a trusted individual or individuals who will manage the assets as trustee(s) for your minor children/grandchildren until they reach an age of your choosing;
- So that you can control how and at what age you want distributions to be made to your children/grandchildren; and
- If you have a disabled child or children, we can create a special needs trust to help preserve eligibility for any public benefits that the child is or will be receiving.
668 Pleasant Street, Worcester, MA 01602 Phone: (508) 756-9229 Fax: (508) 754-6407