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What does decanting a trust mean?

Often, establishing a trust is not the end of your estate planning concerns, especially if your wishes for your estate change after the fact. While it is not always possible to achieve exactly what you hope, depending on the nature of your existing trust and the terms you set in place when you established it, the law may provide ways that you can amend your trust and still enjoy many of its protections and benefits.

Reasons to replace your trust’s trustee

When creating a trust, one of the most important decisions you make is appointing a trustee to oversee the assets within it and uphold the trust's terms. This is a great responsibility for any person, and often leads to unanticipated conflicts between the trustee and the trust's creator or other parties, such as beneficiaries. Trustees enjoy a significant amount of power over a trust, a responsibility that not all individuals can truly handle well.

Should you make the beneficiary of your IRA a living trust?

It's important to pay attention to the beneficiary designations on all of your financial accounts. Failure to fill out such a designation properly -- or to update it after a change in circumstances -- could create a serious problem for your entire estate plan.

How can you prevent one of your kids from contesting your will?

If you go through the effort of creating a last will, trust or estate plan, you likely do so because you want your final wishes and instructions followed. You may want certain assets to go to certain people, donations to go to a favorite charity or even have pets assigned to the care of trusted family members. You may even want to reduce issues with handling your estate and taxes. However, it's not uncommon for testators to worry about one (or more) of their children contesting their will.

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