The ABC’s of a Trust

Overwhelemed yet? Fret not, our friend. Yes, estates can feel overwhelming, but it’s key to identify a trust and estates attorney to walk you through the process. Do research ahead of time, ask questions, take good notes, ask more questions and keep soft copies of paperwork in addition to hard copies in a safe place.

Whittling down legal-ease of a trust, this is what we know:

  • There are different kinds – irrevocable, revocable—your attorney can drill down when to use which one.
  • By putting your parent’s assets in the name of the trust—all of their assets—this means their individual assets and annual income will likely only be social security income.
  • They’ll need to name someone as their trustee.
  • If they do the Medicaid lookback (more on this here), the count down is the past five years to look at assets. So, if their attorney and accountant advise to open a trust, the clock begins five years from the date in which you apply for Medicaid assistance.
  • It can get complicated, so make sure you speak to your attorney and review all documents.
  • The trust needs a TIN, better known as a tax ID number through the government.
  • This means you will need to send a W9 for to institutions for financial matters for which the trust—not your parent—will be taxed.