Your will names an executor who is responsible for settling your estate – identifying and valuing your assets; payment of final expenses and taxes and ultimately, controlling the distribution of your estate to your beneficiaries. You can establish a trust under your will as one of or the exclusive beneficiary of your will. The will controls only your single name assets; not joint assets or contractual assets where you have designated specific beneficiaries, such as in an IRA, 401 (k) plan or insurance policy.

A trust is a separate legal entity that can be created during your lifetime (living trust) or in your will (testamentary trust). A trust is similar to a will, but typically exists for a longer period of time (even for generations, called a dynasty trust) – meeting the ongoing financial needs of certain beneficiaries. Trusts contain instructions for managing assets and distributing income and principal on behalf of your beneficiaries. Trusts are a very effective estate planning and wealth management tool. Trusts provide you greater flexibility, control and attentiveness in the ultimate distribution and management of your assets on behalf of your beneficiaries.

Trusts can address difficult family issues such as caring for a family member unable to deal with financial matters, an orderly and reasonable transfer of a family business, gift giving, charitable trusts/foundations/legacies and minimizing taxes and administrative costs.

Trusts allow you to save on estate and income taxes, avoid probate costs (attorney and executor fees), maintain privacy and avoid estate administration delays.

Counsel Trust offers the flexibility of interfacing with an outside ‘trust protector’, usually a family member, trusted advisor or attorney to provide advice and guidance concerning interactions with your beneficiaries and the preservation and distribution of your assets. Together with your legal advisor, we can customize the most appropriate strategy to fulfill your estate planning needs and goals.

Counsel Trust can serve as sole, joint, directed or successor trustee.  Counsel Trust can also manage the investments or work with your preferred asset management firm. We are sensitive to the needs and aspirations of your beneficiaries.