The Tools of the Trade: Basic Estate-Planning Trusts

    by Ellen J. Boling

    In our last article, we reviewed the need for an estate plan (“Reassessing Your Risk Tolerance? Don’t Overlook Estate Planning,” April 2003 AAII Journal). Once the need has been determined, implementation of a plan does not need to be difficult.

    There are several tools that can be used to maximize the benefits of the possession and use of your assets both during life and after death. One set of tools that may be helpful in achieving your estate planning objectives is trusts. However, in order to determine the correct trust tool to use, an estate planner must know not only about your assets and liabilities, but also the unique personal characteristics of family members or other potential beneficiaries of the trust. Once both the financial and personal aspects of all parties are closely examined, then the proper trust tool to use will become evident.

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