St. Simons Island Trusts Attorney Helps Protect Your Wealth
Reliable guidance on trusts in Georgia
You’ve worked hard to acquire your wealth, but have you given enough thought to how you can protect it? At Choate Harris P.C. on St. Simons Island, our estate planning attorney provides a variety of asset protection strategies, including the establishment of trusts. If you want to secure your wealth for your retirement and pass that wealth on to your heirs and other beneficiaries of your choosing, a trust may be an optimal solution. Our attorney will give you personalized attention in developing a comprehensive estate plan that meets your needs.
What is a trust?
A trust is a legal entity that you create for the benefit of others. An appointed trustee (which may be yourself) becomes the legal owner of property placed in the trust, but the trustee is under a fiduciary duty to manage the property in the interests of the designated beneficiaries. Depending on how the trust is created, the beneficiaries may receive income from the trust during your lifetime and/or receive a share of your property upon your death. The trust assets can go to the beneficiaries immediately, without the delay and expense of probate. Trusts also allow you to place conditions on the way assets are dispersed, so you have greater control and flexibility than you would with a will.
Common types of trusts in Georgia
Trusts are flexible instruments that can be tailored to meet your needs. A trust in Georgia can be of one of these types:
- Revocable living trust— You establish this type of trust to hold your assets for your enjoyment while you are alive, then pass them on to your heirs. You maintain control and can dissolve the trust at any time.
- Irrevocable trust — Once you establish this kind of trust, you cannot dissolve it or even amend it without your beneficiary’s permission. You give up control, but you gain a greater level of protection from creditors and other claimants.
- Testamentary trust —You can use your will to create and fund a trust that takes effect when you pass away. The trust holds the assets for your beneficiaries under the terms you spell out.
- Spendthrift trust — If you have a prospective heir who cannot deal responsibly with large sums of money, you can create a trust to make sure they have a steady but moderate income.
- Special needs trust — Leaving a lump-sum inheritance to someone with disabilities can cost him or her government benefits like Supplemental Security Income. A special needs trust can provide needed resources without disqualifying the recipient from government assistance.
Our estate planning attorney works closely with you to understand your circumstances and create one or more trusts addressed to your anticipated future needs.
Administering trusts in Georgia
Someone has to oversee the assets you place in your trust. With a living trust, you can be your own trustee. Other trusts require a different party to manage the assets for the benefit of the beneficiaries. A trustee has a fiduciary duty to manage assets honestly and responsibly according to the terms of the trust and to avoid any wasting of assets. Our attorney has extensive experience assisting trustees with the full range of their administrative duties.
Contact an experienced trusts attorney on St. Simons Island
Choate Harris P.C. assists clients throughout the Glynn County area with a variety of trusts designed to achieve multiple objectives. Please call 912.324.5216 or contact us online to schedule an appointment. Our St. Simons Island office is at 300 Main Street, just off Demere Road.