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Frequently Asked Questions

Can I avoid paying taxes on assets that I place in trust?

Assets that are placed in an irrevocable trust are generally exempt from estate taxes. This is because you won’t have the ability to amend or dissolve an irrevocable trust, thus the assets that are placed in an irrevocable trust become out of the reach and are no longer considered part of your estate.

However, there may be tax liabilities for beneficiaries who receive benefits from the trust; you and your beneficiaries should consult with an estate planning attorney or a tax professional.

If I care for a dependent with special needs, can I ensure that the funds necessary to continue caring for them are available after I am gone?

You can by consulting an attorney to create a trust for them. It is often a good idea to create a trust to care for any dependents with special needs, such as a disabled adult child. You should speak with an estate planning attorney if you wish to establish a trust to provide for someone after you’re gone; special provisions are needed for such a trust so that any benefits they receive, such as Social Security benefits or housing benefits, are not jeopardized.

Should I consider a Living Trust?

Possibly. A Living Trust can provide critical protection for LGBT+ individuals, since it can potentially allow you to pass your estate onto loved ones without needing to go through the probate process and can minimize or eliminate estate or inheritance tax liabilities.

Will I be allowed to make medical decisions or end-of-life and funereal choices for my spouse or partner if they are incapacitated?

If you are married, or if you are in a registered relationship that grants you the right, then yes. Otherwise, state law typically grants those rights to the biological next-of-kin. Absent marriage or a registered relationship, you will need to execute powers of attorney to grant your partner such rights.

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