Trusts can also be established for the benefit of charities. When a person includes a charitable trust in their estate plan, they are effectively granting to a charity certain property from their end-of-life estate. The trust maker can still receive proceeds from the trust, but at the time of their death the charitable trust property will pass directly to the charity.

Finally, estate planners can set up special needs trusts to help support loved ones who cannot provide for themselves. These trusts need to meet specific guidelines so that their existence does not prevent the beneficiaries from losing their rights to seek and receive certain government-supported benefits and should be set up with the help of estate planning attorneys.

This list is not complete and our readers who have specific questions about trusts may benefit from getting more information from estate planning attorneys. A trust can be a valuable tool to manage an estate after death, but different formats can be used to accomplish different goals and purposes.

Philip J. Kavesh
Nationally recognized attorney helping clients with customized estate planning guidance for over 40 years.
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