The Benefits of Establishing a Trust: Is it Worth the Money?

Trusts are often wrongly associated with people who might have higher net worth, but they can be an important part of estate planning for anyone. A trust can provide peace of mind by ensuring that your assets go to the right people, help reduce estate taxes, preserve the assets of minors until they are adults, or benefit a charity. An experienced trust agent can help you understand what type of trust might be right for you as a vehicle to protect your hard-earned assets. A trust and will can complement each other, allowing rapid transfers of assets, maintaining confidentiality with respect to sensitive assets and directives, and avoiding intestate succession with respect to assets whose disposition is not governed by a trust or other arrangement.

Trusts are frequently used in estate planning to benefit and provide distribution of assets to the grantor's heirs. For individuals with resources and those with privacy concerns, a trust can be a crucial supplement to a will. In some cases, a transfer will may create a testamentary trust to maintain and manage assets for the benefit of designated heirs, for example, for minor children until they reach maturity. If properly structured, the transfer of assets from the grantor to the irrevocable trust may protect the assets of the grantor's creditors.

The person creating the trust may decide to give each child the same amount, regardless of the cost of their education, or provide variable amounts depending on the educational costs of each child. Assets held in a trust can generally be managed by the successor trustee in a more private manner than a typical probate proceeding. While trusts offer several advantages, it's a matter of discussion between you and an experienced estate planning attorney if and where a trust fits into your estate plan. While you may need to update your estate plan after new life events (such as the birth of a child or the purchase of a new asset), trusts rarely need to be modified.

In conclusion, trusts can be an important part of estate planning and can provide peace of mind by ensuring that your assets go to the right people. Establishing a trust can give you peace of mind that the care you have provided to the people and possessions you love will continue. A trust can indicate how to leave specific pieces to specific people, to a museum, or to a non-profit organization.

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