When you think about an estate plan, you probably think about creating a Last Will and Testament. A Will is an essential part of every estate plan, but in many cases it is beneficial to also create a trust. A trust can benefit individuals with estates of all sizes. If you are wondering if a trust could benefit you and your family, consider the following:
- You want to support your surviving spouse
- After your surviving spouse dies, you want to ensure that the remainder of your estate is distributed to your loved ones selected by you
- You have assets you want to protect from creditors
- You want to maximize your estate tax exemptions
- You want to save your family from the time and cost of putting your estate through the probate process
- You want flexibility to determine how and when your estate is distributed, which means your beneficiaries may not be paid directly upon your death. This can be helpful if you leave heirs that are minors and you want them to reach a certain age before they inherit from you. You can also arrange for your loved ones to be paid over time in installments.
- You own a business, real estate or other types of significant assets
- You want to name a successor trustee that can manage your trust after you die and who also has the authority to manage the trust estate if you become incapacitated or otherwise unable to do so yourself.
The above list is just a few examples of when a trust can be beneficial. Creating a trust as part of your estate plan provides you with flexibility in distributing your property and wealth. There are different types of trusts to choose from, so it is important to discuss the pros and cons of each with a trusted estate planning attorney.
Whether you have a will or a trust or nothing at all, we, at The Law Office of Diane Anderson, can help you navigate probate and trust termination. This may include assets, debt, tax debt, guardianships and more. Contact us today to schedule a comprehensive consultation.