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Creating a trust to last for generations to come

Some Ohioans have worked their whole lives to build wealth with the hope that it will benefit many generations of their families into the future. With traditional estate plans, however, accumulated family wealth can be depleted in as little as a couple of generations. There are ways to establish trusts to prevent that from occurring.

When assets are passed to a testator's children through a normal estate plan, those assets are first divided between them. The assets may be further depleted by assessed taxes and by business risk, leaving little of the original wealth to benefit grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Setting up a family trust may be a way to ensure the wealth will instead benefit successive generations of the family.

People may want to set up a plan that helps to provide successive generations with opportunity rather than with lump sums. For example, they may provide trust money designated to pay for college so a family member is unburdened by student loans. They may also provide other incentives for people to do certain things, and successive generations may also fund the trust so it continues on to benefit many generations.

One benefit of trusts is that they can avoid probate. Assets held in trust are instead passed directly to named beneficiaries outside of the probate court. This can help prevent substantial legal fees from accruing while also providing privacy to the family. Trusts can be established to accomplish a variety of different purposes. People who are interested in setting up a trust may want to discuss their goals with their estate planning lawyers who can help their clients in determining the types of documents that will best serve to accomplish their intended purposes.

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