For some people, the word "trust" conjures up images of spoiled college-age children living off the largesse of their families. However, trusts are not solely the domain of the incredibly wealthy and elite. Instead, trusts are wonderful estate planning tools for Americans of all incomes.
You could argue that one of the most common estate planning myths is that you can do it later, that you'll always have time to get around to it. People do think this way, but most people technically do know -- even if they still haven't done their estate planning -- that they can't predict when they'll need it. Life is fragile.
The family-owned business is often thought of as an American staple, the thing that forms the backbone of the economy. That said, there are many different businesses that people choose to start. They all operate much differently and those planning to pass their businesses on to their children need to plan accordingly.
It's important for everyone to know all that they can about estate planning. That means men, women, married couples, single people and anyone else. Far too many people enter old age without an estate plan or pass away without even a will.
Financial experts note that one of the main mistakes people make with their estate planning is simply that they let the plan become outdated. This often means that they do not update it through major life changes, like starting a business or starting retirement.
For most people who start a family business, the dream is to have it stay in the family for generations to come. The founder may think of that as a gift to the family, giving them meaningful employment and an easy income. They may think of it as a stepping-stone, assuming that their children can build on what they started. When asked, about 88% of people who run family-owned businesses think that those businesses will stay in the family for at least five more years.
It has become common knowledge that disability rates have steadily risen among children, which makes the need to understand the importance of a Special Needs Trust (SNT) even more significant. Defined, a SNT Protects the rights of the disabled individual to maintain their eligibility for public assistance benefits. If you left your disabled beneficiary money or property via your outright trust or will without the protection that a SNT provides, they would be disqualified from receiving government benefits, like social security income among others. The disqualification could last until your special needs beneficiary spends or discards the left money or property.