A trust is an advantageous type of estate planning method for people who are interested in passing assets to others without being part of the probate process. Avoiding the probate process is an attractive option for many people because probate is frequently a lengthy and expensive process. Totten trusts, which are also referred to as transfer on death accounts, are trusts created with the assistance of a bank. It is helpful for people to understand some of the basic information about intestacy laws in North Dakota, as well as to retain the assistance of an experienced North Dakota probate attorney. This article will discuss some of the essential details that people who are interested in Totten trusts should understand.
The Role of Totten Trusts
Totten Trusts are established in a manner similar to how a person opens a bank account. After providing a bank with completed questionnaires, a person will likely be required to provide a bank with identification. Only, these trusts name a person as the direct beneficiary of the account. This beneficiary will receive the money that is placed in the account after the death of the individual. In many cases, to receive these benefits a person will be required to present a certified death certificate as well as identification.
Advantages Offered by Totten Trust
Many individuals wonder why a Totten Trust should be selected over other types of trusts. There are several distinct advantages to Totten Trusts, which include the following:
- Anonymity: A person can create a Totten Trust without any family members or loved ones knowing. This anonymous feature can prove helpful to individuals who wish to secretly leave money to beneficiaries.
- Avoid Estate Assets: Assets in a Totten Trust are not considered part of the deceased individual’s estate, which reduces the amount of taxes that are due.
- Avoid Tax Disadvantages: Totten Trusts do not create any estate tax disadvantages for individuals even though these amounts are factored in determining estate tax liability.
- Flexible in Nature: Totten Trusts allow individuals to withdraw and deposit money into the trust as needed. This feature is unique in comparison to many other types of trusts.
In addition to these advantages, a North Dakota estate-planning attorney can also discuss various other advantages offered by the trusts with a client.
The Assistance of a Skilled Fargo Attorney
Despite these advantages, there are some limitations to Totten Trusts. Attorney Stephen Welle has a deep understanding of the various applicable laws and how to help achieve your estate planning goals. If you require assistance with a Totten Trust or any other type of estate planning tool, contact the legal counsel at O’Keeffe O’Brien Lyson Attorneys. Our Fargo law firm can also be reached at 701-235-8000 or 877-235-8002.