5 benefits of an irrevocable trust

When forming a trust, you’ll start with something known as an intervivos trust. You will then get presented with two options, either to create a revocable or irrevocable trust. The main difference between these two types of trust is the ability to make changes to the trust once it is in place – a revocable trust can be altered while an irrevocable trust cannot be changed. So why would anyone choose an irrevocable trust? Here are the benefits from New Jersey estate planning attorneys:

  1. Estate tax benefits: The assets in an irrevocable trust are not subject to estate taxes, so placing assets into this trust can protect them during the probate process. Additionally, the IRS only taxes estates that are above a certain value, so you can use the trust to reduce the value of your estate. By placing assets into the trust and naming your heirs as beneficiaries, you can try to reduce your estate to an amount below the tax exemption amount. Keep in mind that this amount fluctuates each year.
  2. Life insurance benefits: Another role this trust can play in your estate planning is as the beneficiary of your life insurance. This will ensure that your life insurance payout is included in the value of your trust rather than your estate, which may otherwise put you above the tax exemption amount.
  3. Income tax benefits: Unlike a revocable trust, these trusts are viewed by the IRS in a similar way to an individual taxpayer. This means that the trust income is regarded as separate to your income, which can put you in a lower tax bracket.
  4. Medicare planning and qualification: These trusts can be a useful tool for Medicare planning. Rather than having to reduce your assets in order to qualify for Medicare, you can place assets into the trust. This way, they won’t be included in your personal assets when you are trying to qualify.
  5. Access to cash flow: An irrevocable trust doesn’t mean that your assets stop earning income or that you lose access to this income. A carefully crafted trust will ensure that your investments are kept in the ownership of the trust but that the trust is able to make payments to you on any income they generate.

Speak to an experienced estate planning attorney for advice on trust creation 

At Sedita, Campisano & Campisano, LLC, experienced estate planning attorneys can assist you with creating the trust of your choice, or drawing up other legal documents including Power of Attorney, medical directives and your Last Will and Testament. For more information or to speak to an attorney, please contact us today.

Protecting your elderly loved one from elder abuse

When your elderly mother or father is no longer able to maintain a good quality of life without assistance, often the next step is to call in professional caregivers. One of the most difficult parts of this transition, say elder law attorneys in New Jersey, is finding a caregiver that you can trust.

Is elder abuse a significant problem? 

Seniors are at very real risk of becoming victims of emotional, financial, physical and sexual abuse as well as neglect and unreasonable confinement. The National Council on Aging’s research has shown that one in ten Americans over the age of 60 have experienced some form of abuse, with over 5 million elderly people becoming victims. Reporting for these cases is low, with estimates being placed at only one in 14 cases ever being brought to the authorities.

While most cases of reported abuse points the finger at family members being the perpetrators, there are enough cases of caregiver abuse to make protecting your loved one’s rights while in care a priority.

Signs of abuse 

For many family members, their contact with their loved one while they are in care is limited to visits and outings. Common signs of abuse that should be watched for include:

  • Unexplained and frequent bruises, pressure marks from being gripped too tightly, broken bones and burns
  • A sudden withdrawal from previously enjoyable activities, unusual depression and strain, frequent arguments with staff or caregivers
  • Unexplained appearance of bedsores, poor hygiene, weight loss and lack of medical treatment
  • An unexplained change in financial habits

What should I do if I suspect elder abuse? 

If you suspect that your loved one is being abused it is vital that you report it to the authorities immediately. They will be able to assist you by opening a criminal case, gathering evidence and protecting your loved one.

How can an elder law attorney assist you? 

An elder law attorney will be able to assist you and your loved one with the financial and legal planning that will maximize your ability to access the best possible assisted living, long-term care or nursing home facility. With the right legal advice and planning, you will be able to protect your loved one’s assets from different types of financial fraud, ensure that they receive the benefits and Medicaid care they are entitled to and fully manage all aspects of their estate planning, from their Last Will and Testament to healthcare proxies and financial Power of Attorney.

At Sedita, Campisano & Campisano, LLC, we have over 30 years of experience in New Jersey elder law.With our expertise and compassion, we can help your loved one grow older with dignity, in comfort and with proper peace of mind. For a free consultation, please contact us today.

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