As an Estate Planning and Elder Law attorney, I get asked regularly if the person really needs a trust. First, you need to know there are lots of different types of trusts. So the answer depends on your problem. A trust may be the right solution, but we first have to determine your problem.
What if you’re a farmer? A farmer may need a trust to protect their farm from estate taxes or nursing homes or to ensure their farm is going the child who has stayed home and helped them farm or that the farm stays in the family. If the issue is the latter, it may also be necessary to do some sort of limited liability company (LLC) to keep the farm intact and avoid having to sell it because heirs can’t agree.
What if you’re a doctor or engage in another high-risk profession? A doctor or other professional may need a trust for an entirely different reason, especially if they are in a high risk profession. Read about it here. In March 2013, Ohio began allowing Legacy trusts to be created to protect assets from liability. Prior to that time, a person would have needed to go out of state to get these same protections. There are very stringent requirements with this trust, so please work with an attorney to create an Ohio Legacy trust.
What if you’re a business owner? When you pass away, what will happen to your business? If it matters to you, setting up a trust to create a succession plan or a buyout plan may make a lot of sense.
What if I’m in a non-traditional relationship? In Ohio, same-sex couples are not afforded the same rights as traditional couples. There is no “automatic” authority regarding healthcare and financial decision-making. For that reason, many same-sex couples utilize trusts to ensure that they have the same authority, protection, privacy rights, and guardianship preferences as traditional couples.
If you need help to any of the above issues, find the nearest AlerStallings office.