Trusts and Trust Provisions

Trusts and Trust Provisions


Welcome to LawShelf’s badge program on trusts and trust provisions. In this badge program, we’ll introduce you to the world of trusts and the amazing benefits they can bestow. This program is of low to moderate difficulty (the tax sections are where the moderate difficulty comes in) and no prior knowledge of estate planning or probate law is required.

Trusts have acquired popular reputations as rich people’s devices. We hear terms like “trust fund babies” and think of excessive family wealth being secured for generations.

But the reality is that many low and middle-income families could also benefit from the flexibility and utility that trusts afford. Trusts don’t have to be complex and their features and benefits can often be easily grasped and understood.

Trusts can be used to avoid probate, which is a time-consuming, expensive and public process by which assets of a deceased person are administered. They can also be used to protect assets in case of a lawsuit or need for government benefits. Many tax-saving strategies can also be accomplished through trusts.

This badge program takes a holistic view of what trusts can accomplish. It will introduce you to many concerns that apply to low-, middle- and high-wealth clients. After explaining each potential concern and its rules, we’ll look at how trusts can be used to mitigate the concerns.

The goal of this program is to allow you to develop trust strategies that consider many concerns and to ensure that you’re not solving some problems at the cost of ignoring others.

Creating an estate plan that involves trusts requires consideration of creditor protection, benefits planning, disability planning, probate, transfer taxes, income taxes, property taxes and other considerations. Sometimes, these interests pull against each other, as solving one concern may hurt another. This badge will give you the tools to strategize in a manner that accounts for all relevant considerations.

Best of luck and we welcome your feedback.

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A LawShelf video-course is an in-depth series of presentations on a discreet legal topic. LawShelf video-courses focus on practical legal information and applications and are each designed to familiarize the viewer with a legal topic quickly and efficiently.

Who should take a video-course?

Our video courses are designed for professionals such as attorneys, paralegals, corporate officers and financial professionals, as well as laypeople looking to deepen their knowledge of particular areas of law. The courses allow you to acquire the specific knowledge and skills that you need without the expense and time commitment of going “back to school” for a degree. 

How do I learn?

Video courses are divided into 5 or 6 modules.  Each module contains a video lesson (usually about 15 minutes long) and a series of self-test questions that you can use to practice and make sure that you understand the material.

How do I complete a video-course?

To complete a video-course, you must pass a 10-question multiple-choice examination by scoring 70% or higher.  The questions on the exam are randomly selected from the self-test question sets for the various modules. You can retake an exam as many times as you need to, though you will not get the same questions each time since the questions are drawn from an exam bank.

Is there limit to how many video-courses I can take or complete?

No. A LawShelf subscription enables you to access any and all LawShelf content, including all video-courses. You can take courses as quickly or slowly as your time allows.

Do I receive any recognition for completing a video-course?

Once you complete the course by passing the final exam, you will be awarded a digital badge to display as evidence of your training and accomplishment.

How will a digital badge help me? 

Modern educational trends are moving away from traditional classroom-based course completion models and towards skills-based education. Employers today care more about skills than ever before. LawShelf digital badges conform to the Open Badge standard and are verifiable records of your skills that can easily be shared online.

How long do I retain access to the course materials?

You retain access the modules and take the final exam as long as you are a subscriber to LawShelf.

Introduction to Trusts and Trust Provisions - Module 1 of 6

Explanations of Common Trust Provisions and Goals - Module 2 of 6

Creditor Protection Aspects of Trusts and Trust Devices - Module 3 of 6

Using Trusts for Medicaid and Benefits Planning - Module 4 of 6

Supplemental Needs Trusts for Disabled Beneficiaries - Module 5 of 6

Trusts and Taxes: Transfer, Income and Property Tax Implications of Trusts - Module 6 of 6

Final Exam only needs to be taken by those seeking to earn the Digital Badge credentials for this course.