Family foundation is a type of private foundation that can also provide income tax and estate tax benefits. It is usually set up by a family, funded with the family’s assets and often run by family members who can also participate in its charitable grantmaking. A private family foundation is one way to create a framework for giving that can enable you to establish a philanthropic legacy.
A family trust, also known as a discretionary trust, is an agreement where a person or a company agrees to hold assets for others’ benefit, usually their family members. It is often set up by families to own assets. Family trusts are often used to:
Mitigate estate taxes
Shelter assets from creditors and public disclosures
Advance fortune to the future generations
Types of Trusts
A revocable trust is a type of trust that the creator can change at any time. Trust amendments allow for the trustor to make changes to provisions, beneficiaries, and more after he or she establishes the trust. The settlor can also revoked the trust at any time.
Once the irrevocable trust has been formed and funded, creator cannot effect changes single-handedly. With some trusts, the creator can make changes requests to the trustee. Assets placed in an irrevocable trust can enjoy protection from creditors and are no longer considered part of your personal or business assets, making it the best form of asset protection.
Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust (ILIT)
This type of trust is designed to own one or more life insurance policies, which are transferred to the trust by the grantor. The transfer of the policies to the ILIT is irreversible, and the trustee manages the final distribution of the insurance proceeds to the beneficiaries after the grantor’s death.
Grantor Retained Annuity Trust (GRAT)
A GRAT is a type of irrevocable trust that provides one of the most tax efficient ways to distribute your estate. The grantor transfers ownership of assets to the trust, and thereafter receives fixed income payments from the trust for a defined number of years while they are alive. After the term is complete, or upon death, the remaining assets in the trust are passed on to the trust beneficiaries.
A dynasty trust is a long-term trust created to pass wealth from generation to generation without incurring transfer taxes—such as the gift tax, estate tax, or generation-skipping transfer tax (GSTT)—for as long as assets remain in the trust.
Charitable Remainder Trust (CRT)
A CRT is a highly effective tax savings vehicle which allows the grantor of the trust to simultaneously distribute the trust’s income to beneficiaries, and donate the remainder to a charitable organization. Usually, CRTs will distribute income earned from the trust assets to the grantor themselves (if they are named beneficiary) or to other beneficiaries for a set period of time.