Washington DC LGBTQ Trusts Lawyer

Creating a trust can help you manage and preserve your assets for your heirs. If you want to ensure that your loved ones receive the bulk of your property rather than unwanted beneficiaries, creating a trust may achieve these goals.

Same-sex couples around the country use trusts to provide for their partner, their children, and their favorite charities after death. If you want to establish an estate plan that manages your property both now and in the future, contact a Washington DC LGBTQ trusts lawyer today. A well-versed trusts lawyer can help create a plan that meets your family’s unique needs.

Trusts Protect LGBTQ Families

When a person dies, their estate is distributed either according to either the terms of their will or the laws of intestate succession. Intestate succession determines who inherits when the deceased does not have a will. Under DC law, a person’s spouse, children, and parents usually inherit the estate in different shares depending on who survives whom.

Unfortunately, intestate succession can have unintended consequences for same-sex couples. People who are not married and do not have children will have their parents inherit their estate rather than their partner. Similarly, if a person dies without adopting their partner’s child, that child would not be entitled to inherit from them.

By establishing a trust, a person can make sure that their assets transfer to whomever they want after they die. The grantor can name a trustee and successor trustee to manage the assets as well as beneficiaries who will receive money or property from the trust corpus. After the grantor dies, the trustee can distribute the assets in the trust without waiting for the probate judge to approve the administration of the estate.

Revocable and Irrevocable Trusts

A trust may be either irrevocable or revocable, depending on whether the grantor retains the ability to alter or change the trust in the future. Revocable living trusts are frequently used in estate planning because they allow the grantor to control their assets while they are alive but transfer them automatically after their death.

Living trusts give the grantor unlimited flexibility to add or remove beneficiaries to the trust so long as the grantor remains competent to do so.

Irrevocable trusts do not allow the grantor to make changes to the trust corpus or beneficiaries of the trust once it is established. These types of trusts are often used to protect assets from the grantor’s creditors, or to reduce the amount of eligible assets a person owns when attempting to qualify for Medicaid.

Types of Special Trusts

In addition to general trusts that allow a person to manage their worth, a grantor can establish other types of trusts for a specific purpose. These trusts have their own requirements and obligations under DC law.

Charitable Trusts

A grantor can establish a charitable trust for almost any purpose that is beneficial to a community. Some of these purposes could include supporting LGBTQ youth, creating a scholarship, promoting a religious or education cause, or working to alleviate poverty.

Asset Protection Trusts

Asset protection trusts are also known as spendthrift trusts. These trusts allow a trustee to distribute payments to the beneficiaries according to certain terms that protect the trust corpus from the beneficiary’s creditors. Even if a beneficiary fails to manage their own assets responsibly, the property within the trust should be protected from their creditors.

Special Needs Trusts

A special needs trust holds assets for a child or disabled person who cannot own property on their own. The trustee has financial responsibility for the assets in the trust and must use them for the care and welfare of the beneficiary.

Bypass Trusts

Bypass trusts are a special type of trust used by married individuals to delay or avoid estate taxes. These trusts are generally used by affluent couples who need to use both spouses’ estate tax exemptions for their overall estate.

Contact a Washington DC LGBTQ Trusts Attorney Today

If leaving a financial legacy for your loved ones after you die is important to you, a trust may help you accomplish your aims. Creating a trust can be a complex and legally-complicated endeavor which usually requires the help of an experienced attorney.

If you want to establish an estate plan that provides for your family after you pass on, schedule an appointment with a Washington DC LGBTQ trusts lawyer today.