Boutique Trusts in Estate Planning

Posted by Sheri Tucker, M.S., J.D.Mar 31, 2020

Estate Planning encompasses more than a will and revocable living trusts. I call trusts that serve a unique and specific purpose in estate planning “boutique trusts.”  Sometimes life changes after an estate plan is in place such as adopting a pet, acquiring digital assets, or buying a firearm. “Boutique Trusts,” are individualized, tailored specific trusts that may be added to take care of forgotten or new estate assets or to amend your current revocable living trust. Read on for a brief overview of five of my favorites that you may need in your estate plan.

Boutique Trust #1 – Gun Trust

The first Boutique Trust is a Gun Trust. Title II firearms cannot be a part of a living or special needs trust. They require their own special management trust. A gun trust can hold your guns while you are alive and determine what will happen to them after you die.  A successor trustee takes care of distributing your firearms in case of mental incapacity or death. A co-trustee can use your firearm for an extended period with permission. A named Trustee also must meet the legal definition of a “Responsible Person.”  For more information on gun trusts call today.

Boutique Trust #2 – Pet Trust

Maybe you have a trust but, didn't have any pets or forgot to provide for them. What if your beloved cat or dog outlives you? You can create a pet trust that will provide for their care after you are gone. The document that creates the trust should specify which animals are covered and the amount of money to be used for the animals' care. It should also name someone to take care of the animal(s). As trustee, this person will have custody of your pet and will be responsible for its care. Your pet trust should also provide any necessary caretaking instructions as well as instructions for what should be done with any money that is leftover when the pet passes on.

Boutique Trust #3 – Charity Trust

Sometimes people want to donate to a specific charity because a family member had a disease or because of volunteer work.  If you want to leave any of your assets to charity, a charity trust is a good estate planning tool. Charitable trusts receive tax benefits, making them useful for maximizing the amount of money the charity will receive.  It's important to avoid possible pitfalls, such as scams or fake charities. An experienced attorney helps you navigate the waters and leave your money to a recognized 503(c) charity. For more read How do I Give Money to Charity When I Die?

Boutique Trust #4 – Digital Assets

A digital asset trust helps you plan for the future of your cryptocurrency, online accounts, login information, banking information, gaming accounts, files, and other digital assets. A trust for your cyber activity secures your asset information. It protects business owners' virtual property. With a digital asset trust, your  loved ones may appropriately handle your digital accounts in case of disability or death. Another plus, this type of trust preserves your online legacy. For “Gamers” with extensive avatars and money invested, a digital asset trusts protects your virtual world.  Read more at Digital Assets in Estate Planning

Boutique Trust #5 – Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust

An Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust (ILIT) holds a life insurance policy for the benefit of beneficiaries. Receiving a life insurance benefit has tax consequences. An ILIT may help avoid estate taxes for your family members receiving the money.  In addition, it is a good estate planning tool that you want to consider because of the changes in the SECURE Act 2019.Irrevocable Life Insurance Trusts (ILIT)

Do You Have Questions?

My name is Sheri Tucker.  I am an experienced trust attorney who can help you form the boutique trust you need.  You may need to amend or create boutique trusts. If  you need to start your estate planning, or just want to learn more, call me at (314) 332-0011 or email sheri.  You can complete information at book now.