For the safety of our clients and staff, and as required by law, all Ettinger Law Firm offices are closed until we are permitted to reopen.

Please be assured that all staff is currently working remotely and are available to you by email or phone.

All staff will be checking their phone and email messages daily.*

Please call our Director of Client Relations, Pattie Brown, at 1-800-500-2525 ext. 117 or email Pattie at if you need any further assistance.

* You can also use this link to schedule a phone consultation with one of our attorneys.

Certified Badge
28th Anniversary
Elder Care Matters Alliance

Irrevocable Trusts Do's and Don'ts

Grandfather and his GranddaughterDo's
  • Do make all transfers to your trust, as advised by the law firm, in a timely manner.
  • Do use trust assets for repairs, maintenance and improvements to real property in the trust.
  • Do use trust assets for payment of real estate taxes and homeowners insurance.
  • Do take dividends and income on trust assets on at least a quarterly basis.
  • Do call the law firm when you wish to make a gift from the trust to any of your beneficiaries.
  • Do call the law firm when a Grantor needs Medicaid benefits or dies.
  • Do call the law firm when personal or financial circumstances change significantly.
  • Do call the law firm if you wish to change trustees or break the trust.
  • Do provide your homeowner's insurance company with the “letter of instruction” and a copy of the trust for real property transferred to the trust.
  • Do provide your CPA or tax preparer with the “letter of instruction” regarding the trust tax return and the “letter of instruction” regarding tax deductibility of legal fees.
  • Do choose your trustee carefully to avoid the expense (and unpleasantness) of changing the trustee.
  • Do call the law firm if you want to refinance, take a reverse mortgage or equity loan on real property in the trust.
  • Don't use trust assets to pay telephone or utility bills.
  • Don't use trust assets to pay personal expenses.
  • Don't use trust assets to purchase an automobile.
  • Don't take principal or capital gains from trust assets.
  • Don't transfer IRA's or 401(k)'s to the trust.
  • Don't allow beneficiaries to return to the trust or the Grantor any gifts made from trust assets.
  • Don't make additional transfers to the trust in the future without advising the law firm.
Client Reviews
This is the best choice for elder care and estate planning! Well established and transparent in services and quality of staff is suberb. K. D.
Jessica Kiely was knowledgeable and kind and gentle. Perfect blend of personality and knowledge for elder law. R. M.
Outstanding professionals at every level within their organization. Interpersonal communications outstanding. F. O.
Very happy with the firm and so pleased we have them helping us. C. D.
Mr Ettinger has worked with my family for over a decade and has provided excellent advice on numerous issues relating to trust and elder law. B. A.