Irrevocable Trust Lawyer

No matter how hard you work and how much you have set aside to meet future needs, there is always a risk that disaster could wipe it all away.

  • You could be struck with a debilitating illness that requires long stay in the hospital and recovery in a nursing home
  • A customer at your business could trip and sue you for millions
  • The aging process could finally catch up and require you to pay for long-term care in your home or a facility 

Your concern might not be for yourself so much as your loved ones.

  • Will they lose the farm that’s been in the family for generations due to estate taxes or Medicaid estate recovery?
  • If they’ve made bad decisions and gotten into debt, will creditors immediately claim everything you give them?
  • If you have a loved one with special needs, what will happen when you’re no longer able to provide support?

These concerns are very real, but there is a way to prevent problems and protect your family.

We Can Protect You with an Irrevocable Trust

Huizenga Law can create a special entity to hold your property securely so that it cannot be taken away in a lawsuit or claimed as repayment by the government or taxed unfairly. That entity is an irrevocable trust. 

The key in many situations is that you must create a trust and transfer property into it before you need the protection. If you wait to set up a trust until you have been sued, then the transfer will be treated as a sham, and the trust will give you no protection. If you wait until you want to apply for Medicaid long-term care benefits, then the property you transfer will still count against you and delay your eligibility.

However, when you want to set up an irrevocable trust to help others, you can often take advantage of benefits right away. For instance, if you want to help a loved one who is in debt, you can give them property through a spendthrift trust, and your loved one’s creditors will not be able to reach that property. Or you can set up a special needs trust for someone with special needs to provide support without interfering with their ability to receive government benefits.

Custom Plans to Meet Your Needs

At Huizenga Laws, we look at the big picture, assessing your needs for the present as well as your goals for the future of yourself and your loved ones. We look at the options for meeting those needs and goals, and then we take the time to explain the potential advantages and disadvantages so that you can make informed choices.

Irrevocable trusts protect your property from being claimed by creditors or taken by Iowa Medicaid, but access to property you place in a trust can be quite limited, and you need to understand the ramifications before committing to a trust. You also need to ensure that the trust terms meet your goals and fulfill legal requirements, and that you and your loved ones understand how to administer the trust going forward. You should work closely with an attorney experienced in creating irrevocable trusts for your type of situation.

How an Irrevocable Trust Works

A trust is a legal entity that takes over ownership of property. The trust holds the property for the use and benefit of a person referred to as the beneficiary, and there can be more than one beneficiary.

Property in the trust is managed by a trustee, and that person has a fiduciary duty to act in the best interests of the beneficiary rather than in their own interests. While the trustee may act as if they own the property, it is not theirs to enjoy. For some trusts, the trustee might be a family member while in other situations, a trust is set up with a professional trustee such as a bank or attorney.

Examples of How Irrevocable Trusts Can Be Used

While there are many different types of irrevocable trusts set up for a wide variety of purposes, some of the most common include:

  • Special needs trusts established for an individual with special needs who receives government benefits such as Medicaid and SSI. The beneficiary can use trust funds to buy things, take vacations, or enjoy other opportunities. However, the funds in the trust do not belong to them, so they don’t count against the income and asset limits for eligibility. Their ability to receive government benefits is preserved.
  • Asset protection trusts to shield property from predatory creditors or hold property for individuals who are not yet ready to handle their own money.
  • Medicaid trusts to preserve assets while establishing eligibility for Medicaid long term care benefits
  • Pet trusts to provide for the care of beloved animals
  • Charitable trusts to reduce tax liabilities while providing for favorite causes
  • Education trusts to provide for education of a younger family member
  • Life insurance trusts or other types of trusts designed to reduce potential estate taxes

To ensure that these trusts are able to accomplish your goals, it is crucial that the terms be set up according to all legal requirements and that the trust be managed in compliance with those requirements as well.

Huizenga Law Can Help You Establish or Manage an Irrevocable Trust

Is an irrevocable trust the right choice to protect your property now and in the future? The answer requires a careful consideration of your specific circumstances. We’d be happy to talk to you about how it would work and help you determine whether it’s the best option for your family, or whether alternatives might better serve your needs..

If you have been named a trustee of someone else’s trust and need assistance, we can provide guidance to get you started or manage many tasks on your behalf.

At Huizenga Law, we always want to help you find the best methods to protect your family and your future. Contact us today to get started.