Virginia and many other states have adopted a version of the Uniform Trust Code. This law establishes certain obligations toward trust beneficiaries, requiring that they get the necessary information about the trust to protect themselves. However, for various reasons, some parents do not want their children to know very much about their trusts. Depending on what kind of information the parents want to conceal or how they want the trust administered, the solution might be to establish the trust in another state. Trusts that conceal a significant amount of information from the beneficiary are called "silent trusts".
People in Virginia who are thinking about the future may consider how they can incorporate their favorite charities into their plans for their estates. Many people set goals for philanthropic and charitable giving during their lifetime, and they want it to continue after they have passed on. Philanthropy can provide important practical benefits in addition to a sense of well-being. By donating to charity, individuals can benefit from tax relief annually. This tax relief can also come as a boon to the beneficiaries of a person's estate.
There are many reasons why Virginia estate holders may want to create trusts. One major reason may be for the avoidance of probate. You may also want to state the terms of the distribution to your beneficiaries as opposed to them receiving all your assets outright at once.
There are multiple ways to attempt to avoid probate including the use of beneficiary designations on life insurance policies, retirement accounts, and other similar accounts. Other ways to avoid probate are through joint ownership, however, joint ownership may not be the best approach in some situations (particularly between a parent and a child). Probably the most effective and smoothest way to avoid probate and to make sure your estate is handled properly is through the use of a Revocable Living Trust.
The Law Office of Deborah N Arthur has undergone changes in the past few years that we are excited to tell you about in our first blog posting.