Monthly Archives: December 2016


By Jim Lyon of Jim A. Lyon Law Firm on Saturday, December 31, 2016. Trusts are fiduciary agreements between an intended individual and the party that creates the trust. A "fiduciary" agreement refers to an agreement that is built on concepts of confidence and trust. Trusts allow intended individuals who are named in the trust to hold and manage the trust's assets on behalf of the named beneficiaries. There are several different types of trusts that exist, each trust created for a unique and specific purpose. Trusts offer several particular advantages to individuals which include the avoidance of probate and the reduction of estate tax liability. In addition to understanding what trusts are and the role that these estate planning tools play, there are several key pieces of information about the different types of trusts that individuals should know. The Different Types of Trusts All types of trusts fall into one of two categories: revocable or irrevocable. Revocable trusts allow individuals to change their mind at a later date about the terms of the trust, while irrevocable trusts are considered to be unchangeable and outside the creator's control once initiated. Trusts, however, come in a variety of types that can     Read More

The Risks of Do It Yourself Estate Planning

By Jim Lyon of Jim A. Lyon Law Firm on Saturday, December 31, 2016. Individuals who are interested in drafting their own will should consider a few important elements about estate planning. Although do-it-yourself estate planning devices like online wills can be easy to access and less expensive than more formal estate planning methods. These cheaper, less formal estate planning devices, however, cannot compare to a professionally drafted legal document. The primary risk of online wills is that these documents may not work the way in which an individual intends. Although all that is required to create a valid will is a written legal document that explains how an individual wants their estate distributed after the individual's death, there are often several other elements and considerations that should be introduced in the creationship of a will. There are some additional important aspects that individuals interested in estate planning should consider regarding the risks of online wills and need. Many Organizations Specifically Warn Against Do It Yourself Products There are many organizations that specifically warn about the use of do it yourself estate planning products. The American Bar has even established a Task Force for evaluating how estate planning devices should     Read More

The Role of Spendthrift Trusts in Estate Planning

By Jim Lyon of Jim A. Lyon Law Firm on Saturday, December 24, 2016. A spendthrift trust refers to the type of trust that allows an individual to control trust property in such a way that limits a beneficiary's access to the principal property of the trust. In many cases, spendthrift trusts contain restrictions concerning the protection of an individual's trust property. These restrictions are frequently used to protect trust property from any creditors of the beneficiary. Advantages of a Spendthrift Trust There are several particular advantages to spendthrift trusts for individuals interested in estate planning which include the following aspects. Control. Individuals who create the trust are given at least some degree of control. Trust creators are able to limit heirs with undesirable behaviors from collecting from the trust. While this type of control might seem strict, in many situations there are very and legitimate ways in which trust creators might wish to prohibit behavior for which individuals may collect from a trust. Protection of Heirs. If a beneficiary requires assistance in the management of property, spendthrift trusts can make sure that the beneficiary does not waste money drawn from the trust in the event that the beneficiary has     Read More