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Trusts And Marriage: Protecting Your Assets In Georgia

Posted by Joel Beck | Apr 08, 2024 | 0 Comments

The intersection of marriage and asset protection can seem complex, but at Peach State Wills & Trusts, we're here to make it accessible and understandable. Marriage is a significant event that not only merges lives but also has profound implications for managing and protecting assets. Whether you're entering marriage with substantial assets or planning for the future together, understanding how Trusts can safeguard your assets is crucial. Let's break down the essentials of utilizing Trusts within the framework of marriage in Georgia, ensuring that your assets are protected and your future is secure.

What Are Trusts?

Trusts are legal arrangements that allow you to manage your assets flexibly and securely. By creating a Trust, you can specify how and when your assets are distributed to your beneficiaries, which can include your spouse, children, or other loved ones. Trusts serve multiple purposes, from avoiding probate to minimizing estate taxes, but they are also powerful tools for asset protection in marriage.

A Strategic Approach to Asset Protection, Trusts and Marriage

When you marry, combining your financial life with another person's can bring significant financial planning considerations. Here's how Trusts play a pivotal role in protecting your assets:

  • Premarital Assets: Trusts can distinguish between premarital assets and marital assets. By placing premarital assets in a Trust, you can ensure they remain separate property, protected in case of a divorce or legal judgment against your spouse.

  • Inheritance and Gifts: Similar to premarital assets, any inheritance or gifts you receive can be placed in a Trust to ensure they remain your separate property, safeguarding them from marital disputes and external claims.

  • Estate Planning for Blended Families: In marriages where one or both spouses have children from previous relationships, Trusts can help ensure that specific assets are passed on to designated children, protecting their inheritance rights.

  • Privacy and Control: Trusts provide privacy and control over your financial affairs, allowing you to manage assets and designate beneficiaries with discretion, away from the public eye of probate proceedings.

Setting Up a Trust in Georgia

Establishing a Trust in Georgia requires careful planning and consideration. Here are the steps and considerations involved:

  • Choose the Right Type of Trust: Depending on your goals, you might consider revocable Trusts (which can be altered during your lifetime) or irrevocable Trusts (which are permanent and offer greater protection against creditors and legal judgments with the tradeoff of loss of control over the assets).

  • Determine Your Beneficiaries: Identify who you want to benefit from the Trust, such as your spouse, children, other family members, charities, etc.

  • Select a Trustee: Choose a reliable and trustworthy individual or institution to manage the Trust according to your instructions. This could be a family member, a trusted friend, or a professional Trustee.

  • Create and Fund the Trust: Draft the Trust document outlining your wishes and instructions with the help of an estate planning lawyer. Once the Trust is established, assets are transferred into it, officially placing them under its protection.

Practical Considerations for Married Couples

When incorporating Trusts into your marriage and asset protection strategy, consider the following practical tips:

  • Communication: Open and honest communication with your spouse about financial planning and using Trusts is essential. This ensures that both parties are aligned with the financial strategy and understand the protection measures.

  • Review and Update Regularly: Life changes, such as the birth of a child, a significant inheritance, or changes in your financial situation, may require adjustments to your Trust. Likewise, changes in the law, including tax laws, may bring about a need to update the trust and other aspects of your estate plan. Regularly review and update your Trust and other planning documents to reflect your current wishes and circumstances. Remember, estate planning is a process, and not an isolated event. 

  • Professional Guidance: The complexities of Trusts and estate planning require professional guidance. Working with an estate planning lawyer ensures your Trust is properly set up, funded, and aligned with your overall estate planning goals.

How Peach State Wills & Trusts Can Help

At Peach State Wills & Trusts, we understand the importance of protecting your assets within the framework of marriage. Our friendly, professional, and approachable team is here to help you establish a Trust that meets your specific needs and goals.

Contact Peach State Wills & Trusts at 678-344-5342 or online to learn how to protect your assets today. If you have any questions about estate planning in Georgia, you can download our free guide here—no strings attached. 

About the Author

Joel Beck

Joel Beck founded The Beck Law Firm, LLC in 2007. His firm focused on business law and estate planning needs of clients, two areas that he was drawn to based upon personal and business experiences in his life, including a ten-year career at NASD (now known as FINRA).


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