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How A Purpose Trust Ensures Your Last Wishes Are Honored

Should you protect your legacy?

Now that you have drawn up your Living Trust or Final Will and Testament, why not protect your intentions, your purpose for having written them in the first place? Your legacy is all that you have accomplished in your lifetime - it is what you leave behind once you pass. Your intentions on how your last wishes are to be carried out, while spelled out in your trust or will, can be subject to interpretation and possible challenge. Things can go awry, even with the best of your Trustees intentions. (1)

What exactly does a Purpose Trust do?

A Purpose Trust is designed to ensure there is a "valid" purpose to your trust and to carry out a purpose vs. benefiting any beneficiaries. The Purpose Trust is ideal for anyone who has a business; this establishes a valid purpose for creating this type of trust. In this case, the Purpose Trust can direct the shares of a business be held as defined:

  • In perpetuity
  • To separate the revenue those assets generate from the principal of the legacy assets
  • To separate control of your legacy assets from management and from anyone who will benefit (2)

Several states allow "perpetual" trusts that can last ad infinitum or for one thousand years or any other extended period of time.

How a Purpose Trust is set up

A Purpose Trust can be a Legacy Corporation that will own your legacy assets and stipulate that the income is paid to other family trusts, naming family members as beneficiaries. This prevents the beneficiaries from becoming involved in either the control or the management of the company.

You can also create verticals stipulating future control and management of your legacy assets, enabling you to be purposeful with the succession of control and management as well as incorporating trusted advisors or family members best qualified to oversee your legacy assets.

There are additional benefits to a Purpose Trust:

  • it eliminates beneficiaries to whom the Trustees is beholden to
  • there is no fiduciary duty
  • no one who can bring a claim against the Trustees for any reason

Basically, you appoint someone, an enforcer/protector who oversees that the purpose of the trust is honored.

There is a lot of information to process in designing the optimum Purpose Trust that will cover all the particulars - a Purpose Trust can be difficult to understand.

The experts at the Law Offices of James C. Shields are not only skilled in these types of trusts, but they will take the necessary time to help you understand the purpose and process behind this type of trust; they can help you protect your assets as well as your intentions. Contact them today for more information and let them help you regain the peace of mind that your final wishes will be followed accordingly.

Article Resources

(1)https://www.americanbar.org/content/dam/aba/publishing/probate_property_magazine/rppt_mo_premium_rp_publications_magazine_2004_mj_bove.pdf

(2) https://www.forbes.com/sites/danielscott1/2018/05/14/why-you-should-consider-using-a-purpose-trust-for-your-legacy-plan/

https://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/06/your-money/estate-planning/the-ins-and-outs-of-perpetual-trusts.html

http://thestudentlawyer.com/2013/11/29/trusts-the-beneficiary-principle-and-perpetuity/

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