How to Start a Trust Agreement for Wealth Protection
To paraphrase Nathan Rothschild, ‘it is difficult to accumulate wealth, and once you get it, it takes ten times more wit to keep it.’ Wealth generation is fantastic, but wealth protection is even more critical as it will allow you to keep what you make.
When it comes to protecting your wealth and assets, a trust is one of the best ways to do so. Organizing your company as a corporation or a legal liability entity will also help, but a trust gives you more control over wealth even after your demise.
One of the main reasons people set up trust agreements is to avoid probate, which is the contesting of an inheritance. The following are the steps to take to start a trust agreement for wealth protection:
Decide the Type of Trust
There are many types of trusts; hence the first step to starting a trust agreement will be deciding which kind of trust you want. There are irrevocable trusts, unit trusts, charitable trusts, and spendthrift trusts.
Therefore, you need to learn what is a wealth trust before creating one. The type of trust we are interested in is an asset protection trust.
You will need the services of an attorney to create a wealth trust. There are also online services that can help you choose the type of trust you want.
Creating a Trust Document
The second step after choosing the type of trust you want is to create a trust document. You must have legal documentation that outlines the specific procedures or policies pertaining to your trust. It is a crucial part of wealth management.
The document will establish various things, including the trust’s founder, the assets protected under the trust, the trustee, and the trust’s beneficiaries, among others.
The trust document is akin to the Constitution as it is the foundational document of the trust. You will settle any issue of contention using the trust document.
The next stage will include signing and notarizing the trust agreement. It is necessary for some states, but it is recommended to do it regardless. The trust’s guarantor will be the one to sign and notarize the trust agreement.
Notarization establishes the validity of the document and prevents fraud, especially after the guarantor’s death.
Create a Trust Bank Account
Trusts will involve the transfer of funds at one point or another; hence a bank account is necessary for a trust agreement. It is particularly crucial to set up a trust bank account if you will be transferring money to the trust’s beneficiaries often.
You may create a brand-new bank account for the trustor. You can register a current bank account in the trust’s name. Whatever is most convenient and secure will be the best choice.
You should clearly show the name of the bank account in the trust agreement. The name of the trust is usually the best choice for the account name.
Transfer Assets into the Trust
The primary way of funding a wealth trust is via assets that will generate income distributed to the trust’s beneficiaries. Listing the assets you intend to leave the beneficiaries in the trust agreement is not enough. Transferring the assets into the trust is necessary.
The manner in which you transfer assets into the trust will depend on the assets and the nature of your ownership. One way to transfer an asset to a trust is to change the name on the deed of the asset, for example, a property’s title deed. It may require a lawyer’s help to change the registration on various assets.
Fractional ownership is often harder to transfer. However, it will be easier with a lawyer’s help.
Starting a trust is a lengthy and involved process, as you can see. However, it is often necessary to clarify the beneficiaries of certain assets, especially after the guarantor’s death. A trust is an excellent avenue for wealth protection, and you should use it if possible.
This article does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the editors or the management of EconoTimes