Wealth Advisor Bryon Spicer Discusses Four Things You Should Know About Trusts

Wealth Advisor Bryon Spicer offers information about trusts – helping others understand how they can better direct their estate and protect their assets.

Dayton, OH – November 28, 2012 – Bryon Spicer, Founder of Seniors Financial and Spicer Wealth Management, recently explained four important things everyone should know about trusts.  “There are four basic things that are essential in figuring out if a trust is right for you, or if the trust you already have is doing its job,” remarked Bryon Spicer.

Bryon continued to explain four important things to know about trusts:

  1. There are many types of trusts, but the most basic is a revocable trust, sometimes referred to as a living trust.  A revocable trust is advisable when you have after-tax accounts (not your IRA’s, 401K’s, 403B’s or other pre-tax retirement plans), and you do not want them to go through probate.  A revocable trust directs your estate privately, so there is neither a public announcement nor a judge involved in making sure your estate is settled without debt.  A revocable trust can also distribute money over time, if your goal is to spread distribution to your family for many years after you pass away.  Many times we see trusts distributed this way when the grandchildren are young.  So as you can see, the benefits of using a revocable trust can be great.  Revocable trust owners need to be aware that if they become disabled their successor trustee must follow their instructions.  In essence, the trust can be revoked or changed by you, but your child who takes over in the event you are disabled does not have that same flexibility. What to watch out for: The biggest possible misstep with a revocable trust comes when you, as the grantor of the trust, become disabled and your adult child takes over when there is language specific to healthcare and your direction to pay for that care from your trust.  In this situation, any protection of your assets from long-term care that your child could have used to protect your hard-earned dollars from a medical spend-down is lost.
  2. Irrevocable trusts can have many strings attached.  You need to know what those are before you enter into an agreement that cannot be changed without court involvement.  Irrevocable trusts are great for holding life insurance outside of your taxable estate, if you have no intention of getting to your cash value in the future.  Some irrevocable trust planning makes sense when certain types of real estate are involved.  Experienced Elder Law Attorneys know how to create hybrid trusts that offer some of the desirable benefits of an irrevocable trust while offering more flexibility and less problematic strings attached.
  3. You cannot wrap a trust around your IRA.  Your IRA is a pre-tax asset, and it is directed at your death by beneficiary designations.  It is critical that you keep a copy of your beneficiary designation form with your legal documents.  In the event you die and the custodian cannot find your IRA beneficiary designation, your IRA is paid to your estate and ends up becoming a probate asset that goes through the full process of probate. This cost and delay of probate can easily be avoided by maintaining a copy of your IRA beneficiary designation form.
  4. In many situations trusts make sense, but if the trusts are not funded, the benefits are lost.  All too often a person seeks out the least expensive trust option desiring value for their money but end up getting absolutely nothing for their money.  Once you have a trust, you must link it to the accounts you want governed by the terms and conditions of your trust (could be revocable or irrevocable).  For instance, if you have a CD at Happy People’s Bank for $100,000, and you want it to be distributed to your family through your revocable trust but the statement comes – and it is your name on the account registration – then none of the benefits of the trust are realized.  The CD will go through probate and the instructions you left behind after your death will be ignored.  Funding a trust is not hard, but you need to take the time to make sure all the institutions that hold your money have a copy of the trust that reflects the proper ownership of your assets to the trust and not to you, in your name individually, or jointly, if married.

Bryon also stressed the importance of getting the opinion of an advisor who can confirm that the assets you own are in fact properly wired to your trust.  “Take some time to discuss your trust planning options, and when you decide they are right for you make every effort to ensure they are properly attached to your assets so they ultimately go to those you love,” said Spicer.
For more information on this topic, or to learn how Bryon Spicer can help, please visit http://www.SpicerWealth.com

About Bryon Spicer:

Founder of Seniors Financial and Spicer Wealth Management, Bryon Spicer, has devoted more than three decades of his life to educating and assisting retirees and pre-retirees.

An accounting major at Wright State University, Spicer has held several designations, including Certified Insurance Counselor.  He has co-authored a book titled “Issues of Aging”, and most recently earned the title of best-selling author with the publishing of his latest book titled “Don’t Get Sacked in Retirement” a quarterback’s playbook for winning the game.

Spicer is a sought after speaker.  He regularly conducts public seminars on many advanced financial topics to the general public and special interest groups. Recognition from the media and the investment community has followed his firm because of consistent success.

Spicer’s firm has been recognized three years in a row by Cincinnati Magazine as one of the top wealth advisors in the area. In addition, Ohio State University respected Spicer so much that the prestigious establishment of higher learning brought him in as a guest lecturer to infuse future financial minds with relevant information. Spicer is also an approved member of the National Ethics Bureau, which shows the highest regards for integrity and ethical decision-making.

Spicer completed a 30-minute TV shoot with Patti Gribow that discusses the book “Don’t Get Sacked in Retirement” and the Consumers Guide to Finding the Right Advise Giver.

Investment Advisory Services offered through Spicer Wealth Management, an Ohio Registered Investment Adviser. Securities offered through GF Investment Services, LLC, Member FINRA/SIPC. Insurance services offered through Seniors Financial Services.

The information in this release is not intended to be tax or legal advice, and it may not be relied on for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. You are encouraged to seek tax or legal advice from an independent professional advisor. The content is derived from sources believed to be accurate. Neither the information presented nor any opinion expressed constitutes a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security.