SC Probate and Trust Administration Attorneys in Myrtle Beach
Trusts can be an invaluable tool for estate planning and for asset protection in SC.
Your probate and estate planning attorney at Axelrod and Associates can help you to determine whether a trust will accomplish your goals, what type of trust is most appropriate for your situation, and how to administer the trust to comply with SC law and protect the beneficiaries.
Types of Trusts in South Carolina
There are many different types of trusts that we can create depending on your goals, needs, and your unique situation. Some examples of trusts that we use in our clients’ estates or asset protection plans include:
- Living trusts: A trust that is created by a person during their lifetime;
- Testamentary trusts: A trust that is created after a person’s death through provisions in the person’s will;
- Credit shelter trusts: A trust that is designed to protect assets from the federal estate tax;
- Revocable trusts: Can be modified or revoked by its creator while allowing the assets to avoid probate altogether;
- Irrevocable trusts: Cannot be modified or revoked by its creator and is often used to facilitate a transfer of property to beneficiaries or to protect against creditors;
- Funded trusts: Can be used to transfer assets while avoiding probate and may reduce the costs of the estate tax;
- Unfunded trusts: Are created but are not fully funded, and then property can pass into the trust through a provision in the will – although the property must still pass through probate, unfunded trusts can reduce tax liability when they are set up properly;
- Self-trusteed trusts: The person who creates the trust, or settlor, is also the trustee and retains control over the assets; and
- Third-party trusts: A third-party individual, corporation, or bank is made the trustee who will manage the trust with a fiduciary responsibility to the beneficiaries of the trust.
There are many different types of trusts in addition to the above descriptions, like spendthrift trusts and special needs trusts, and each of the different “types” of trusts can be seen more as “characteristics” of trusts that, in many cases, can be combined to create a trust that accomplishes your goals.
Trust Administration in SC
Every trust must be managed and there are usually costs associated with trust administration. A third party who manages a trust for its beneficiaries is called a “fiduciary” which means that they are administering the trust for the benefit of someone else, and they have a legal duty to act in the best interests of the beneficiaries.
A trustee’s obligations and responsibilities may include:
- Managing and investing trust property;
- Making payments or distributing assets from the trust;
- Maintaining accurate records of trust activity;
- Filing tax documents related to the trust; and
- Making decisions, as a fiduciary, a bout the trust’s assets.
Your probate and estate planning lawyer at Axelrod and Associates will help you to decide what type (or combination) of trusts are best to achieve your goals and how the trust will be administered.
If you have questions about trusts and how they can fit into a comprehensive estate plan – or – how trusts can be used to protect your assets, call an estate planning and asset protection attorney at Axelrod and Associates today at 843-353-3449 or complete our contact form to set up an initial consultation.