Non-Tax Reasons for Trusts: Mansfield MA Area Estate Planning Attorney

Real Estate Attorney with an Expertise in Estate Planning and Elder Law

The author Brigitte von Weiss of VON WEISS LAW OFFICE is an Easton MA estate planning and elder law attorney.  


There are several non-tax reasons for utilizing trusts such as asset protection; avoiding probate; creditor protection; protection for the surviving spouse and children in the event the surviving spouse remarries; control and management of assets for spendthrifts, minors and those disabled; and avoiding ancillary probate for real estate owned in another state.  Moreover, living trusts are private (not public) documents and notice of the trust assets and accountings need be given only to the interested parties.


Example:  Mr. and Mrs. Mansfield have "I love you" wills whereby they leave everything to each other and they each have a taxable estate of $2 million (a total of $4 million).  Mr. Mansfield dies and Mrs. Mansfield remarries.  She and her new husband have a verbal agreement that at their deaths their respective assets will go to their respective children by prior marriages.  Mrs. Mansfield’s estate plan leaves her $4 million to her children.  However, after her death, Mrs. Mansfield's new husband waives her Will and claims a forced share (also referred to as "elective share" and "statutory share").  Under Massachusetts law, assuming there is no valid and enforceable prenuptial or separation agreement and one of Mrs. Mansfield's lineal descendants survived her, the new husband's forced share is 1/3 of Mr. and Mrs. Mansfield's $4 million (the first $25,000 outright and a life estate in the remainder).  In contrast, if Mr. and Mrs. Mansfield had credit shelter trusts to minimize estate taxes, the new husband's forced share is 1/3 of her $2 million (again, the first $25,000 outright and a life estate in the remainder).


Nothing in this blog should be considered legal advice as this is a complicated area of the law.   

The author Brigitte von Weiss of VON WEISS LAW OFFICE is an estate planning lawyer and elder law attorney serving clients in Easton, MA, as well as nearby towns and cities, including Abington, MA, Attleboro, MA, Avon, MA, Bridgewater, MA, Brockton, MA, Canton, MA, East Bridgewater, MA, Foxboro, MA, Mansfield, MA, North Attleboro, MA, Norton, MA, Norwood, MA, Plainville, MA, Randolph, MA, Raynham, MA, Rehoboth, MA, Rockland, MA, Sharon, MA, Stoughton, MA, Walpole, MA, West Bridgewater, MA, and Whitman, MA.   

Brigitte, a graduate of Boston College School of Nursing and an honors graduate of Loyola University of Chicago Law School, stands out from other elder law and estate planning attorneys in that she worked as a registered nurse for four years and earned a Master of Science in Taxation with high distinction from Bentley College.  This unique combination of legal, nursing and taxation backgrounds enables Brigitte to provide outstanding legal guidance to her clients in their time of need.  Call (508) 238-3005 for a free phone conversation with Brigitte to learn if she can help.  You also may reach her through her website at   


The Massachusetts Uniform Probate Code (MUPC)   

Bristol County Family and Probate Court   

Plymouth County Family and Probate Court   

Norfolk County Family and Probate Court 

Alzheimer's Association

National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys

Massachusetts Chapter of National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys

Massachusetts Area Agency's on Aging (AAA's)
  and Aging Service Access Points (ASAP's)

MassHealth form

Bristol Elder Services

Old Colony Elder Services

Hessco Elder Services  


Mansfield MA Council on Aging 

Town of Mansfield MA website 

Mansfield MA Patch 

Mansfield MA Journal 

Mansfield MA Historical Society 

Mansfield MA Music and Arts Society 

Keep Mansfield MA Beautiful

Mansfield MA Rotary Club 


AARP estate planning article 

Forbes magazine estate planning article 

Kiplinger magazine estate planning article 

USA newspaper estate planning article  

American Bar Association's Estate Planning FAQ's 

New York Times article on estate planning 

US News article on estate planning 

Fox Business article on estate planning 

Los Angeles Times article on estate planning   


Abington MA Council on Aging   

Attleboro MA Council On Aging  

Avon MA Council on Aging   

Bridgewater MA Office on Elder Affairs   

Brockton MA Council on Aging   

Canton MA Council on Aging   

East Bridgewater MA Council on Aging   

Easton MA Council on Aging   

Foxboro MA Council on Aging  

Mansfield MA Council on Aging   

Norton MA Council on Aging   

North Attleboro MA Council On Aging  

Norwood MA Senior Center  

Plainville MA Council On Aging  

Randolph MA Council on Aging   

Raynham MA Council on Aging  

Rehoboth MA Council on Aging   

Rockland MA Council on Aging   

Sharon MA Council on Aging   

Stoughton MA Council on Aging   

Walpole MA Council On Aging  

West Bridgewater MA Council on Aging  

Whitman MA Council on Aging  

Comments (1)

Trisha Bush-LeFore
Preferred Properties Land & Homes - Walla Walla, WA
Providing Realtor Services in the Walla Walla Area


I think trusts are a great idea and have encouraged my family members to look into this option for their estates.

May 03, 2014 01:40 AM