FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What Does A Trust Own?
A trust will become the owner, or the controller of your assets identified with a deed, title and/or contract/policy number.
If My Trust Owns My Assets, How Do I Access Or Manage Them?
If you are the owner of the assets before you place them into your trust, you maintain complete authority, as the Trustee(s), to handle and manage your assets in the same manner as you did in the past.
If I Create A Trust, What Will It Do For Me?
Your properly prepared Trust by AFEPI, will eliminate probate on assets you allow the Trust to own/control. The Trust will expedite the distribution of your assets to your heirs, exactly as you predetermine, and most of the time, in a very short time.
Will My Beneficiaries Pay Taxes On The Assets They Inherit?
Maybe. If your assets are in an IRA, 401-k or other qualified account, then yes, they will be taxed.
AFEPI can share some strategies to eliminate or reduce those taxes. If your assets are not considered ‘qualified assets”, then your beneficiaries will receive the assets on a stepped up basis, without taxes.
Does The Trust Provide Protection From Lawsuits?
Contrary to a popular myth, a ‘Revocable Trust’ does not protect you from a lawsuit. Remember, you still maintain 100% authority to handle your assets in anyway you desire, just as before you created your Trust.
Does The Trust Eliminate The Need To Pay Income Taxes On My Assets?
Contrary to a popular myth, as enticing as it is, a trust does not eliminate your requirement to pay income taxes. There are some ways to defer or reduce the taxes you owe, and we can help you to understand how to legally do so.
How Difficult Is It To Manage If I Wanted To Sell My House Or Trade My Car?
Not difficult at all. When AFEPI creates your Trust, we will be available to answer any questions or to help in these areas. Essentially, you would complete the same process that you would have if you didn’t have a Trust. We provide documents to aid in these instances as part of your Trust package.
If Either Of Us Passed, What Issues Will The Remaining Spouse Face With Regard To The Trust?
Typically, none. The surviving spouse can move forward with the funeral and grieving process and no changes to the Trust will be required. If there is ever a doubt, please contact us.
When One Of Us Has Passed, What Can We Expect?
Once the surviving spouse is ready, after the funeral and receipt of the death certificates, AFEPI can help answer any questions, complete forms, and assist in any transfers that are needed. There is no charge for our services in this area. Remember our motto is “We will be there when you need us the most”. This will be one of those times.
Who Should We Name As Our ‘Executor”?
Most people name the most qualified child and an alternate to be the “Successor Trustees” (the proper name for this position).
Does The Trust Allow My Child To Sign Checks On Our Accounts When We Need Them To?
It can. This is a subject to be discussed with decisions based upon your specific situation.
Typically, the Trust will allow your ‘Successor Trustee’ or ‘Power of Attorney’ (again typically the same person) to write checks and pay your bills if you become incapacitated. This is in place for a variety of reasons designed to protect your assets more fully.
Can I Eliminate Someone From Receiving My Assets?
Yes, you can eliminate anyone who might be eligible to receive your assets upon your death.
There are many and varied situations that make this viable. Remember, once you pass away this Trust can not be changed. Therefore, your wishes are locked in afterwards.
We Have Minor Children. How Can AFEPI Help?
AFEPI will help you by creating the provisions in your Trust to appoint the Guardians you choose.
We will then create provisions that allow the Guardians to use your assets for the benefit of your children until such time as you want them to receive the balance of their shares. This could include provisions for health, education, maintenance, and support.
We Have A Special Needs Child Or An Adult Special Needs Person. How Can AFEPI Help?
There is a process whereby you can leave an inheritance for your loved one without jeopardizing their government benefits. AFEPI will help you to achieve this goal.