Trust capabilities can take your practice to the next level. Trust services are becoming increasingly popular among the wealthiest families and individuals because they control the disposition of assets to beneficiaries, assign a high level of fiduciary responsibility and ensure a solid structure for future safety and growth.
In the words of Stephan R. Leimberg, a well-known estate planning author and lecturer – the most vital elements of estate planning – what your clients ultimately want in transferring their hard-earned assets to the next generations are: control, certainty, compassion, flexibility, assurance and avoidance of aggravation. Trusts (particularly with a ‘trust friendly’ state situs, like Tennessee) are a key element to delivering and fulfilling those objectives.
If properly constructed, trusts can carry out asset disposition in a tax efficient way. Trust companies act as corporate trustees for their clients, serving in a fiduciary capacity as they administer, manage and eventually transfer assets to beneficiaries for their clients. Where broker dealers and registered investment advisors are required only to select suitable investments for their clients, trustees must make every decision in the best interests of their clients.
Trust companies also have the ability to structure wealth distribution in sophisticated ways, using a variety of trust vehicles, managing estate taxes, family business interests, charitable gifts and intergenerational planning.
Trusts often contain complex dispositive provisions governing the most tax efficient (and beneficiary attentive) methods of transferring a broad variety of assets, including unique interests such as closely held businesses, family heirlooms, farmland, customized annuities or limited partnerships and different methods of charitable giving. Trusts can also contain language dealing with longer term intergenerational planning.