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Consider a trust during estate planning for securing large assets

Some people are fortunate enough to have acquired assets during their lives of such value that they are deemed worthy of being preserved for future generations of their family. Guaranteeing the survival of a key asset is an important part of estate planning. And while a will is the most common way to bequeath an asset in Ontario, a trust can sometimes be a better choice, as was the case with a recent transfer in another jurisdiction.

The sole owner of NBA team transferred ownership of the team and its arena from herself to a legacy trust this month. She and her late husband acquired 100 percent ownership of the team in 1986 to ensure the team would not leave the state. Her intent was to secure the future of the team in its state and within her family.

She will be the trustee until she passes away, at which point a board of managers takes over the Utah Jazz. The board consists almost entirely of her children and grandchildren. She believes the trust will provide the resources needed for her family to maintain control of the team in perpetuity, with one associate speculating it could last hundreds of years.

Establishing a trust to preserve an asset, whether it's in the form of a business, a property or other valuable holdings can be complex, but may yield benefits a will cannot. To ensure effective execution, however, it might be advisable to work with an experienced attorney who is skilled with estate planning in Ontario. Leaving a legacy is the fervent wish of many people; a knowledgeable professional can help make it happen. 

Source: ca.sports.yahoo.com, "Jazz ownership transferred to trust", Kareem Copeland, Jan. 23, 2017

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