Non-Tax Reasons for Trusts: Stoughton 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 estate planning lawyer and elder law attorney in Easton, MA.


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. Stoughton 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. Stoughton dies and Mrs. Stoughton 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. Stoughton’s estate plan leaves her $4 million to her children.  However, after her death, Mrs. Stoughton'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. Stoughton's lineal descendants survived her, the new husband's forced share is 1/3 of Mr. and Mrs. Stoughton's $4 million (the first $25,000 outright and a life estate in the remainder).  In contrast, if Mr. and Mrs. Stoughton 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, Norwood, MA, Norton, 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  


Stoughton MA Council on Aging

Stoughton MA Senior Center 

Stoughton MA Adult Day Care

Stoughton MA Journal  

Stoughton MA Media Access 

Stoughton MA Chamber of Commerce 

Portuguese National Club in Stoughton MA 

Stoughton MA Cultural Council 

Stoughton MA Patch


Abington 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 


Mansfield MA Council on Aging 


Norton 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 


West Bridgewater MA Council on Aging


Whitman MA Council on Aging 



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