Ohio residents with large estates may consider using silent trusts if they want to keep their amount of wealth private. A silent trust differs from a traditional trust because the trustee does not regularly keep beneficiaries informed of the assets until authorized by the document.
The beneficiaries of a silent trust are named in the documents just as they are in a traditional trust. However, the amount of information distributed to beneficiaries by the trustee may vary.
A silent trust may be useful with the estate owner is worried about how their heirs may react knowing that they will receive a significant inheritance in the future. One concern is that beneficiaries may not develop financial independence if they know they will inherit money.
Another common reason many people choose a silent trust is that they do not want the public to know how much they are worth. There is a risk when beneficiaries know about the assets in a trust. For example, they might disclose information about their expected inheritance. A silent trust allows the grantor to delay disclosure about the inheritance until the beneficiaries reach a certain age.
A silent trust is just one of the many estate planning instruments that an attorney may be able to utilize to help a client protect the value of their estate. The type of trust selected may depend on the assets involved and the grantor's goals. Trusts may potentially be used to donate to charity, save money on taxes, avoid probate court and distribute assets to the grantor during the remainder of their lifetime.