What is a Trust Fund

Saturday, 17 March 2012

What is a trust fund?

Trust funds are arrangements that allow individuals to create sustained benefits for another individual or entity. Sometimes parents establish a trust fund to provide some degree of financial security for their children, with the trust providing resources to meet basic needs after the parents are deceased. A trust fund can also be established to benefit a charity or other non-profit organization.

The main idea behind a trust fund is to allow the grantor or donor who established the fund to rest assured that loved ones or a particular organization receive the benefit of his or her estate after the grantor dies. The trust is aimed at providing sustained support in some manner.

A trust can include a wide range of assets. In addition to cash, a trust fund may include resources such as property, stocks, bonds, or any other type of financial instrument. The trust fund may be managed by a single trustee, or be structured to allow for more than one trustee. It is the responsibility of the trustee to see that the resources included in the trust fund are used in the best interests of the recipient of the trust.

Why open a trust fund?

A trust fund can serve a dual purpose that has great benefits. It can provide protection for family assets and money when the grantor dies against taxes and claims. And a trust can provide for the future needs of the grantor or his family or business. Money or assets put into a trust fund are not subject to estate taxes and may be exempt from other types of taxes as well, depending on the type of trust you have set up.

A trust:
* Provides stability
* Saves time and money in court
* Saves on taxes
* Privacy and no questions

No matter what type of trust fund you end up choosing, considering one is a wise choice. Trust funds can be an avenue for sound financial benefits and to make sure your family and estate are taken care of the way you would do it if you were here. Preparing now for the financial future lets you enjoy today without worrying. Tough Times has now opened a full funeral service, contact us for free advise

Writing a Will

Monday, 5 March 2012

Who Needs A Will?
Wills are not just for the rich. Regardless of how much or how little money you have, a will ensures that whatever personal belongings and assets you do have will go to family or beneficiaries you designate. Without a will, the court makes these decisions.
If you have children, a will is a must, to ensure that you get to choose your children's guardian. Few people plan to die in the near future, but if you die suddenly without a will, you'll be subjecting your family and loved ones to confusion and anxiety at what is already a difficult time.
There are other benefits to having a will, including tax benefits.

Do You Need a Lawyer?
For most people, a will is easy to produce and can be prepared using legal software
How Do You Get Started?
At a minimum, a will should do the following: appoint a guardian if you have minor children, appoint an executor to administer your will when you die, and spell out specifically how you want your property distributed.
The first step in deciding how you want your property distributed is gathering information. You'll need the following:
Names, addresses, and birth dates for you, your spouse, your children, proposed guardians, and executor of your estate.
Amounts of all debts, including mortgages, car loans, student loans, business loans, and credit card accounts.
Copies of existing wills, trusts, divorce decrees, prenuptial agreements and any other legal documents that might affect a will.
A list of assets, including detailed information about the following:

  • Real estate
  • Savings (bank accounts, CDs, money markets)
  • Investments (stocks, bonds, mutual funds, CDs)
  • Life insurance policies
  •  pension/retirement accounts
  • Life insurance policies and annuities
  • Ownership interest in a business
  • Cars, boats, planes and other vehicles
  • Jewelry
  • Collectibles
  • Artwork
  • Antiques
  • Furniture
  • Other personal property
If you decide to do it yourself using software like Willmaker, sit down in front of your computer with all of the above information and in a few hours you can produce a will that is legal in your state. Be sure to follow the software's instructions on having your will signed and witnessed. If you feel more comfortable having a lawyer do it, you'll need to take the above information with you to your appointment.
The best of wills won't be any good if nobody knows how to find it. Make sure your family members and your executor know where your will is kept.

Tough Times will soon be providing a full funeral home service. Contact our friendly staff for assistance with your Will.