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Estate Planning:

Marks Elder Law Michael H. Marks, Esq.

Michael H. Marks

Linda Law Carroll


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A trusts attorney can explain the many kinds and uses of trusts . The word "trust" described a very broad range of applications and purposes. The common feature in every trust is that property is given to someone to hold, and manage and spend for the benefit of another. A trust must always state its purposes and include instructions as to who will benefit, when, how.

A trust can be a way to choose and authorize someone else make decisions for you after you're gone, that you would make yourself if still present and alive. A trust can be a way to make sure that property that you set aside for another is used wisely and well for their benefit, and not wasted. Trusts can especially help for persons with a handicap or disability. Trusts can be used to save taxes, to maintain access to benefits and healthcare, to fund education, and in many other ways.There are always three kinds of participants in the making and handling of a trust:

  • The creator of the trust, also known as the "Grantor" or “Settlor;"
  • Someone in whom the trust creator has confidence, someone whom they trust – the "Trustee;" and,
  • Those who will benefit from the property in the trust – the trust "Beneficiary" or "Beneficiaries."

Trust can be revocable or irrevocable. Trusts can be created during your lifetime or only in your Last Will and Testament, after you're gone (a "testamentary" trust).

A trust is not a place to put property. A trust is a way to own property, by separating the control and decision-making, in the hands of the Trustee, from the use and enjoyment of the property, by the beneficiaries.

Placing assets in trust avoids the probate process. Trust proceeds pass directly to the beneficiaries of the trust. However, many parents don't want their son or daughter to "come into money" when he or she turns 18. A trust can stipulate the age at which the child inherits or put conditions on the inheritance such as marriage or finishing college. An appointed trustee or professional trust administrator oversees the trust fund until stipulations are met.

The trust attorneys at Marks Elder Law in Pittsburgh can help you create and use trusts to protect your family, your loved ones and your property Setting up a trust for your estate is a critical part of estate planning. The skilled Pittsburgh attorneys at Marks Elder Law have the experience needed to help you throughout this process. If you are interested in meeting with a trust attorney in Pittsburgh, contact Marks Elder Law today.

Please slao see our Frequently Asked Questions About Trusts
and the Process for Administering an Estate.
We will gladly review your Will or Estate Plan to ensure it is up-to-date.