What is a Grantor Retained Annuity Trust?

What is an Annuity Trust

A Grantor Retained Annuity Trust, commonly called a GRAT, is a special type of irrevocable trust that minimizes the tax liability that usually accompanies intergenerational transfers of estate assets. Under a GRAT, an irrevocable trust is created for a certain term or period of time. The trust creator pays a tax when the trust is established. Assets are… Read More »

What is a Protective Trust?

What is a Protective Trust

“Protective trust” is actually an umbrella term that refers to various types of trusts that are put in place to protect a person’s estate and/or assets from taxation, bankruptcy, lawsuits, or other outside threats. The basic goal of a protective trust (also known as an asset-protection trust) is to ensure that trust income goes to the designated… Read More »

What is a Legacy Trust?

What is a Legacy Trust

Also known as a dynasty trust or wealth trust, a legacy trust is an irrevocable trust that lets the trustor set aside assets for future generations. It is generally considered to be a flexible asset protection and saving option that allows one to use funds for emergency situations while building an estate to pass on… Read More »

What Rights Does a Trust Beneficiary Have?

What Rights Does a Trust Beneficiary Have

A trust is a legal agreement between three parties: the trustor (many times called the grantor), trustee, and beneficiary or beneficiaries. The trustor creates the trust agreement; the trustee is responsible for managing the trust property that has been transferred into the trust; and, the beneficiaries receive the benefits of the property titled to the… Read More »

The Family Farm and Estate Planning

The Family Farm and Estate Planning

Michigan is abundant with farmland and, in many cases, these lands are cultivated by family farming businesses.  Often, the family will have built their farming business from the ground up and will want to see it continue for generations to come.  While this seems like a natural progression, estate planning for family farms can present… Read More »

How does a Living Trust Work?

How Does a Living Trust Work

When planning for one’s estate questions sometimes arise as to whether a trust, rather than a will, is the best estate preparation tool.  To answer that question it is important to know what a living trust is and how it may work for you. A living trust is a trust created by a person while… Read More »

Special Needs Trust: The Basics

Parents of a child with a disability are often faced with challenges as they plan for their child’s future.  Depending on the circumstances, the child may not be able to work or otherwise provide for themselves when they reach adulthood. While the child may be able to qualify for government programs to help finance their… Read More »

Estate Planning and Pets

Pets bring so much to our lives.  They serve as constant companions and can be a source of joy for the entire family.  In many cases, our pets are not only pets–they are part of our family.  Naturally, pet owners feel concern for their pets and want to ensure that they are provided for if… Read More »