Trust Fund Planning Lawyer

A trust is an estate planning instrument that is used to hold property or other assets for a particular beneficiary or to divide benefits among beneficiaries. Not only can a trust be created by a will or done separately, it can also be used to protect assets from the probate process and has certain tax benefits as well.

Located in Etobicoke, Levitt, Lightman, Dewar & Graham, LLP, is a law firm that provides comprehensive estate planning services. We can help you make the right decisions about weighty questions involving life and property — decisions that can provide guidance to others when you are no longer able to do so yourself.

Contact our firm to learn more about trusts during a consultation. One of our experienced Etobicoke estate planning lawyers can discuss your needs and recommend solutions that can enable you to achieve your goals.

Trusts and Other Estate Planning Solutions

You can also protect beneficiaries such as children, disabled family members, second spouses or other beneficiaries with special needs through many different types of trusts. A Henson trust, for example, will provide an inheritance for a disabled family member without affecting his or her ability to receive government benefits.

Trusts Can Provide Necessary Asset Protection

Our lawyers can help you understand and implement any of the following trusts that may meet your needs:

  • Living trusts
  • Testamentary trusts
  • Henson trusts for disabled family members
  • Other types of special needs trusts
  • Family trusts
  • Insurance trusts
  • Trust funds for minors or other loved ones

Life Insurance Declarations and Registered Plan Declarations

When you purchase a life insurance policy, you are permitted to designate one or more beneficiaries on your policy. Similarly, you are permitted to designate beneficiaries for "Registered Plans" which include retirement savings plans ("RSP's"), retirement income funds ("RIF's), tax-free savings accounts ("TFSA's") and common annuity contracts. Designating a beneficiary in these instances can avoid the need to pay Estate Administration Tax on such assets. Typically, beneficiary designations are not governed by the terms and provisions in your will.

Our firm can prepare Life Insurance Declarations and Registered Plan Declarations that can save you estate administration tax while at the same time affording you the flexibility that is provided in your will. At Levitt, Lightman, Dewar & Graham LLP we can provide valuable advice with respect to benefits and savings in the appropriate circumstances.

Additionally, revocable and irrevocable trusts may provide much-needed asset protection. For instance, different types of irrevocable trusts can allow your assets to transfer to beneficiaries during your lifetime or after your passing that helps avoid costly taxes and probate fees. Although the trust allows you a lot of flexibility about when it comes to designating who will receive the proceeds and when, once the terms of the trust are executed, they cannot be revoked.

Revocable trusts, also known as alter ego and joint partner trusts, can also protect assets from probate taxes and costs. However, the terms can be altered or revoked at any time during your life. A revocable trust also instructs the trustees how to distribute assets to beneficiaries while you are alive, incapacitated or upon your death.

Variations of trusts law allow trustees and executors to make adaptations and alterations to testamentary documents such as wills when all parties involved agree on those changes. The laws governing this practice are relatively complex, particularly when compared to some laws governing estates and trusts. Interest has been growing on the advantages of variations of trusts.

Estate Planning Worksheet

Contact Our Knowledgeable Mississauga Will Planning Lawyers

Contact Levitt, Lightman, Dewar & Graham, LLP, for a consultation with an experienced GTA will planning lawyer.