Asset Protection Basics: How to Start a Family Investment Trust for Your Family’s Asset Protection

Hey there, fellow moms! Let’s talk about something crucial but not often discussed at our coffee meets or play dates – securing our family’s financial future. Have you ever thought about how a Family Investment Trust can be a game-changer for your family’s asset protection? Well, let’s dive into this together!

asset protection keeps the family's treasures safe


What Is a Family Trust?

Let’s break down the basics in a way that’s as easy as explaining how to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich to our kids. Trusts, in the legal world, are not about trusting someone to return your lawn mower. It’s about creating a legal entity that holds assets—think of it like proactive asset protection your family’s treasure chest.


A trust involves three key players: the grantor (that’s you, deciding to protect your assets for your family), the trustee (the person or entity you choose to manage the trust), and the beneficiaries (your loved ones who’ll benefit from the trust, like your kids or spouse).


There are different types of trusts, but they mainly fall into two categories: living trusts, which are set up and kick into action while you’re still around to see their benefits, and testamentary trusts, which come into play after you’ve set off on your grand adventure in the sky.

an estate planning attorney can help moms set up trusts


Each has its perks, depending on what you’re aiming for—whether it’s avoiding the public spectacle of probate, managing taxes better, or ensuring your kids can handle their inheritance responsibly. But they all boil down to helping protect assets.


So, why bother with all this? Because domestic asset protection trusts can be your safeguard from creditors, ensure your kids don’t blow through their inheritance before they know how to handle money, and can keep Uncle Sam’s hands out of the cookie jar more than if your assets were transferred in other ways.

Plus, it gives you control from beyond the grave (in a totally non-creepy way) over how your assets are used and distributed.

According to Investopedia, “There are many ways to set up a trust depending on what you want to achieve. You may see trust funds as a tool of the ultra-wealthy, but they can be useful to anyone who wants to protect their assets for the future needs of the people or causes that are important to them.”

How to Set Up a Family Trust: Asset Protection Planning

Alright, moms, let’s roll up our sleeves and dive into the nitty-gritty of setting up a Family Investment Trust. Think of it as assembling a piece of furniture for your family’s financial future—yes, there might be a lot of steps, but the end product is so worth it.

an asset protection trust is great for the family


Here’s your step-by-step guide:

1. Determining Your Goals

First things first, what’s the dream? Are we protecting assets from future creditors? Planning for educational expenses? Or maybe ensuring that special needs family members are taken care of? Identifying your primary goals will help shape the trust and ensure it meets your family’s needs. It’s like picking the destination before you start driving.

2. Choosing the Right Type of Trust

Now, let’s talk types. Think of this as choosing the right car for your road trip. Do you need the flexibility of a Revocable Trust, which you can change anytime? Or the stronger protection of an Irrevocable Trust, which is more like locking your decisions in a safe but offers more asset protection and tax benefits? Your goals will help determine the best fit for your family.

3. Finding a Trust Attorney

This step is crucial. Just like you wouldn’t want just anyone babysitting your kids, you need a skilled professional to draft your trust. Look for an attorney who specializes in estate planning and trusts.

A reliable estate planning attorney can navigate the complex legal process, ensuring your trust is both effective and compliant with state laws.

asset protection trusts can help both parents and children


4. Drafting the Trust Agreement

With your attorney’s help, you’ll create the trust document. This is where you lay out all the specifics: who’s who (grantor, trustee, beneficiaries), what’s what (the personal property and assets going into the trust), and how and when your beneficiaries will receive their inheritance. Think of this as writing the script for how your assets will be handled now and in the future.

According toSmartAsset, “Remember, by creating a family trust for assets you want to pass on, you’re making your family’s experience following your death much simpler. A family trust, as well as a will, advanced directive, and power of attorney, should all be part of your comprehensive estate plan.”

5. Funding the Trust

A trust without assets is like a car without gas—it’s not going anywhere. Transferring assets into the trust (also known as funding) is essential. This could include bank accounts, real estate, stocks, or other investments. Y

our attorney can guide you on how to properly transfer these assets to ensure the trust has control over them.

6. Managing the Trust

Decide who will manage the trust. You can serve as the trustee, at least initially, which means you’ll manage the assets according to the trust’s terms.

Alternatively, you can appoint a professional trustee (like a bank or trust company) or a trusted family member. This decision impacts how your trust operates and is key to ensuring your goals are met.

family members benefit from trusts


7. Educating Your Beneficiaries

Don’t forget to talk to your beneficiaries about the trust. They should understand its purpose, the benefits, and their future role in it. This can help prevent misunderstandings and ensure a smooth transition when it’s time for them to receive their inheritance.

According to Trust & Will, “There are many reasons to consider a Family Trust. For example, if you have assets you want to split between your children, your Trust can outline what and how that should look. You can be broad in your directions, or you can be fairly specific and include stipulations and/or conditions as to when and how beneficiaries should get money in the future (for example, at a certain age; after a college graduation; upon marriage; etc).”

8. Regular Reviews and Updates

Finally, like any good financial plan, your trust should not be set in stone. Life changes—marriages, births, divorces—and your trust should reflect those changes.

Regularly review (with your attorney, investment adviser, and qualified financial advisor if needed) and, if necessary, update your trust to ensure it always aligns with your current wishes and family circumstances.

The Benefits of Starting a Family Investment Trust

Moms, have you ever thought about how a magical umbrella could protect your family from financial rain? Well, a Family Investment Trust is kind of like that umbrella. Let’s chat about the incredible perks this financial tool offers, beyond just keeping your hairdo from getting ruined in a downpour.

asset protection planning is great for families


Asset Protection

Just like we teach our kids to wear helmets when biking, setting up a trust is about protecting what’s valuable. This makes it one of the best asset protection strategies. Asset protection refers to strategies you use to shield your assets from life’s unexpected tumbles—like lawsuits, legal judgments, or creditors. If someone decides to come after your family’s assets, having them safely tucked away in a trust can keep them out of reach. It’s like having an invisible force field around your family’s financial future.

Tax Advantages

No one likes giving away more of their hard-earned money than they have to, right? A trust can be a savvy way to minimize taxes, both for you and your future generations.

Depending on the type of trust, you might reduce estate taxes, avoid probate (which can be both costly and public), and enjoy more favorable tax treatment on the income the trust generates. It’s like finding a legal loophole that keeps more money in your family’s pocket.

Control Over Family Assets

Ever worry about what will happen to your assets when you’re not around? With a trust, you can specify exactly how and when your assets are distributed. Want to make sure your kids don’t blow their inheritance on fast cars and fancy clothes before they’re mature enough to handle it?

A trust lets you set conditions—like reaching a certain age or achieving specific milestones (think graduation or marriage) before they inherit. It’s a way to guide your kids from beyond, ensuring they use their inheritance wisely.

kids benefit from asset protection trusts



Unlike the probate process, which is as public as your Facebook profile, trusts operate in privacy. You can pass on your assets without your family’s financial laundry airing out for public consumption. This means no nosy neighbors knowing what each family member got.

It’s like having a VIP backstage pass to asset distribution—exclusive and discreet.

Avoiding Probate

Probate can be like that never-ending board game that no one wants to play. It’s time-consuming, expensive, and public.

By transferring your assets into a trust, they bypass this process entirely, moving smoothly and directly to your beneficiaries. It means less stress and more immediate support for your family when they need it most.

To Wrap Up

Moms, setting up a Family Investment Trust isn’t just about protecting your wealth; it’s about ensuring your family’s well-being and future prosperity. It’s a powerful way to say, “I’ve got you covered,” no matter what life throws your way. It’s also about being proactive and taking control of our assets.

Let’s make sure our hard-earned wealth is protected and passed down according to our wishes.

Kathy Urbanski

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