News & Resources

Are You a Candidate for a Trust?

By: Benjamin Ruesch, Esq.

A trust is an arrangement in which property is managed by one person or entity for the benefit of another. It can be a solution to potential estate problems. Consider the following factors to decide if you need a trust and which is best suited to your situation.

Common Trust Goals
There are many different types of trusts, and depending on which type you choose, trusts can be used to:

• Eliminate estate and inheritance taxes.
• Reduce income taxes.
• Smooth the difficulties associated with disability and old age.
• Provide professional investment and asset management.
• Prevent family assets such as farms and businesses from being divided or sold.
• Avoid probate and some of its delays in estate administration and distribution.

Revocable living trust for your future care.
If you are unsure about your long-term ability to manage your money, naming yourself as trustee of a living trust allows you to continue controlling your finances now. Plus, you can name a "backup" trustee in case you later become disabled.

Trusts for grandchildren.
A trust can distribute income to your grandchildren in the manner and at the ages you select. A special needs trust can provide for a disabled child's needs and preserve government entitlements.

Next Steps
The attorneys at Ruesch & Reeve can help you determine whether a trust is right for you. We are here to answer your questions. Mention this article when you call and receive a free initial consultation. Contact Ruesch & Reeve today to learn more about creating a trust that benefits you and your family.

Creating and Updating Living Wills Essential When Major Life Events Happen

By: Benjamin Ruesch, Esq.

With the recent passing of Utah’s adopted celebrity Gary Coleman, star of Different Strokes, much attention has been brought to the fact that his life was terminated at the direction of his ex-wife Shannon Price. She was given the full authority to do so pursuant to an Advance Healthcare Directive, more commonly known as a “Living Will,” which had been filed with the Utah Valley Regional Medical Center. It was subsequently discovered that the pair had been secretly divorced in August of 2008. For that reason, several have questioned whether Shannon had proper authority to remove life support. As a matter of estate and life planning, one should always properly update legal documents to account for major life events such as divorce or the birth of a new child. Doing so will avoid potential legal battles between family members and friends.

As a practical matter, it is very easy to update or create a Living Will because in 2008, Utah passed the Advance Health Care Directive Act. Part of the intent of passing this Act was to make it easy for everyone to have their medical wishes known upon incapacity or death. By using the statutory form found at §75-2a-117, one can easily make his or her own living will and subsequently file it with the local hospital or doctor’s office. The form consists of a health care power of attorney and a living will. It is strongly advisable for all to use this statutory form for one simple reason: pursuant to the statute, the form is presumed valid, which means that one desiring to challenge the validity faces a major uphill battle in establishing otherwise. An attorney that drafts something more complex or different than the statutory form is not serving the best interests of the client.

Having an updated living will helps set forth the type of medical care and attention you desire, in case of emergency. Medical staff, including doctors, nurses, etc., must abide by the directives given in the will or face legal liability. Of course, it is a commonly known that nobody likes to think about death or incapacity. And even though major life events seem to occur at the worst time, it is very essential to be responsible and plan for life’s contingencies. Creating and updating one’s Advance Healthcare Directive is a simple, free (or inexpensive) way to do so.

For more information about living wills, and to get a blank copy of the statutory form you can visit either www.srrlegal.com or contact Mr. Ruesch at (435)635-7737 to schedule a free consultation to discuss your individual estate and life planning needs.

Click to read Benjamin Ruesch's bio.

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