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  • Writer's pictureNicole T. Livingston, Esq.

What Is a Dynasty Trust and Why Should You Consider One?


If you have significant wealth, one of the best ways to protect your family and transfer your wealth to future generations is through a dynasty trust. However, setting one up requires considerable financial and estate planning knowledge. As experienced estate planning attorneys at Council Baradel, we can explore all options available to protect your legacy and decide if a dynasty trust is right for you.


Who Could Benefit from a Dynasty Trust?


If you have worked hard to grow your money, property, or business and want to create a lasting financial legacy for your family and future generations, creating a dynasty trust may be a great choice. Protecting your substantial wealth means addressing your specific concerns about taxes, potential creditors, lawsuits, or other financial risks while ensuring responsible management and distribution of money and property to your family.


As a high-net-worth individual, you may need more complex estate planning strategies to achieve these goals. A successful estate plan is not just about transferring your wealth to the next generation. It is about sharing your vision for your family's financial future along with setting certain guideposts for the management and distribution of wealth to ensure responsible financial stewardship.


How a Dynasty Trust Works


Creating and funding a dynasty trust should be done by an experienced estate planning attorney, often in collaboration with other professionals. Your team can guide you in deciding which cash, real estate, investments, or other valuable property should be transferred to the trust. You may be able to use your lifetime gift tax exemption to successfully transfer these items while minimizing tax consequences for yourself and your heirs in the future. Tax-efficient growth creates an even greater legacy for successive generations.


A dynasty trust is designed to be perpetual or of long duration. Unlike other trusts with limited or fixed termination dates, a dynasty trust will likely last for multiple generations and continue to accumulate and grow wealth over time.


A dynasty trust often involves appointing a professional trustee, such as a bank or trust company, to oversee the management and administration of the trust. They must follow specific terms and guidelines, ensuring responsible governance and distribution of money and property according to your wishes. These terms may include flexible distribution provisions to provide income to beneficiaries, an option for the trustee to make discretionary decisions based on specified criteria, or permitting the trustee to adjust distributions in response to changing family circumstances.


Why Would You Want a Dynasty Trust?


By placing money and property in a well-structured dynasty trust, you ensure that the wealth you have worked hard to accumulate remains protected within your family.


Life is unpredictable, and unforeseen circumstances, such as lawsuits, creditors, or divorces, can pose threats to your family's financial stability. Since money and property are legally owned by the dynasty trust rather than any individual family member, they can be safeguarded from creditor claims and legal judgments in many cases.


Estate taxes can significantly erode the wealth passed down to your heirs. Dynasty trusts are structured to minimize the impact of estate taxes over multiple generations. Additionally, the appreciation in value of trust resources while you are alive will occur outside your taxable estate, allowing for potential growth free from estate tax implications.


Customized provisions in a dynasty trust can govern how money and property in the trust are managed and distributed. This level of control is particularly beneficial if you are concerned about a beneficiary's financial acumen or spending habits. You can ensure that your wealth is managed responsibly while still providing for your family.


If you have accumulated significant wealth and are looking for a way to create a lasting financial legacy for your family, we are available at Council Baradel to discuss sophisticated estate planning tools, like dynasty trusts. By leveraging the benefits of perpetual duration, tax-efficient growth, asset protection, and responsible governance, you can address your family's unique needs and goals over multiple generations. If you are interested in learning more about dynasty trusts and whether they are the right tool for you, give us a call at (410) 268-6600 or visit our website at www.councilbaradel.com.   

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