What is a Retirement Trust?

November 3, 2022
An elderly couple leaning on a fence, smiling at each other.

Planning for the Future

When it comes to planning for your financial future, there are a lot of different options to choose from. One option that many people don't know about is the retirement trust. A retirement trust can be a valuable part of your estate plan in Michigan. In this blog, learn what a retirement trust is and how it can help you secure your retirement future!

Defining a Retirement Trust

A retirement trust is defined as an irrevocable trust created for the primary purpose of holding retirement assets, such as 401(k)s, IRAs, and other pension or profit-sharing plans. The retirement trust is designed to provide benefits to the settlor during their retirement years and can be structured in a number of ways to achieve this goal.

Why Would You Want a Retirement Trust?

There are several reasons why someone might opt to create a retirement trust as part of their estate plan. One reason is that it can help manage retirement assets and distribute them according to the settlor's wishes. Another reason is that a retirement trust can provide tax advantages. For example, if the settlor dies before they have withdrawn all of the funds from their retirement account. In that case, those funds can be distributed to their beneficiaries without incurring any tax penalties.

How Does a Retirement Trust Work?

A retirement trust works by holding retirement assets in an account that is managed by a trustee. The trustee is responsible for investing the retirement assets and distributing them according to the terms of the trust. The settlor can choose to have the trust pay out benefits during their lifetime or after their death.

Work with an Estate Planning Attorney

Creating a retirement trust is just one way to plan for retirement. There are many other options available, so it's important to speak with a qualified estate planning attorney to determine what's best for you and your family. If you have questions about retirement trusts or other aspects of estate planning, contact the team at Michigan Law Center, PLLC today. We would be happy to help you plan your most effective future.

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What Should I Include in My Estate Plan?

Key Elements to Include

You may not want to think about the unexpected occurring. But the fact is if something happens and you don't have an estate plan in place, your loved ones will have a great bit to deal with in the aftermath - and that can be a lot harder than it needs to be. In this blog post, we'll discuss what should go into an estate plan in Michigan. We'll cover wills, trusts, powers of attorney, and healthcare directives. So whether you're just getting started on your estate planning or you're looking for a refresher course, read on!


A will is primarily used to outline what happens to your property and possessions after you die. You can use a will to:

  • Designate who will receive your property
  • Appoint a guardian for your minor children
  • Name an executor to carry out your wishes

If you die without a will, state law regarding estates will determine how your property is distributed.

Creating a will is one of the most important things you can do for yourself and your loved ones. It can give you peace of mind to know that your final wishes will be carried out and that your loved ones will be taken care of according to your wishes.


Trusts are also popular estate planning tools. A trust is created when a settlor (the person who creates the trust) transfers property to a trustee. The trustee manages the property on behalf of the beneficiaries designated by the settlor. Trusts can be used in various ways, including asset protection, minimizing taxes, and planning for loved ones with special needs.

Power of Attorney

A power of attorney allows you to appoint someone to make financial and legal decisions for you if you ever become incapacitated. If you do not have a power of attorney in your estate plan, your loved ones will have to get authority from the court to handle your affairs, which can be time-consuming and expensive.

There are two types of power of attorney: durable and nondurable. If you become incapacitated, your appointed person's durable power of attorney remains in effect; nondurable power of attorney expires if you become incapacitated. You can choose to have one type or both types in your estate plan.

Healthcare Directive

A healthcare directive sets forth your wishes regarding medical treatment in the event that you are unable to communicate those wishes yourself. For example, you can use a healthcare directive to specify whether you want to receive life-sustaining treatment if you are ever diagnosed with a terminal condition.

A healthcare directive can also appoint someone to make medical decisions on your behalf if you are unable to do so yourself. Choose someone who you trust to make decisions in accordance with your wishes and what they believe would be the best option for you.

Work with an Estate Planning Attorney

There are many things to consider when creating an estate plan. The best way to ensure that your wishes are carried out is to work with an experienced estate planning attorney. An attorney can help you determine what kind of documents you need and how to best protect your assets. If you need help creating an estate plan, reach out to the team at Michigan Law Center, PLLC. We advocate for our clients at all parts of the estate planning process.

September 15, 2022

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