Trusts in Ohio – Can They Help Protect Your Assets?

Trusts in Ohio--just what is a trust and do you really need a trust instead of, or in addition to, a will? Well, let’s see if we can clarify this question a bit for you now. A trust is a legal mechanism through which the owner (known as the "settlor" or "grantor") transfers property to a custodian, or "trustee." The property can be land, cash, stocks, bonds or other assets. The trustee manages the property for a beneficiary according to the settlor’s wishes.

The advantage of having a trust is that it may help you avoid probate court (the typical process for wills) when your assets are settled after your death. In avoiding probate, a trust provides Ohio asset protection from those who may try to lay claim to it, such as business partners, ex-spouses, creditors, or the Internal Revenue Service. Trusts in Ohio may also help protect a portion of your savings from estate tax laws when transfer of ownership occurs after your death. Trusts will make some or all of your assets excludable for the purpose of Medicaid; thus, Medicaid pays for expensive long-term care not you. Because trusts are often misunderstood by a layperson, it is highly recommended that you seek the advice of an expert. Our lawyers in Dayton, Ohio are available to help with a free consultation to answer your questions.

Trusts in Ohio Can Protect Your Assets

There are several types of trusts to consider for your asset management needs:

  • Accumulation Trusts establish specific terms or conditions to which a beneficiary must adhere in order to receive his or her part of the trust (i.e. age).
  • Bypass Trusts are best suited for married couples with large estates. These trusts enable assets to "bypass" Federal Estate Tax when the first spouse dies. The result is that the estate is only taxed once, when the second spouse dies.
  • Living Trusts avoid probate and, therefore, provide thorough asset protection since assets are titled to the trust before death.
  • Testamentary trusts are those created in your will but only actualize after you die.

How to Appoint a Trustee

You may appoint one individual or multiple trustees in your trust instrument to oversee your estate. You are also able to name trustees who have the right to fire existing trustees and hire new ones, in order to ensure that only the best decisions are made on your behalf.

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