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What is a Trust?

Blocks with letters spelling out trust

If you have been planning for your future, the protection of your assets, and who you’d like them to go to, you’ve probably run across the legal concept and tool of trusts. There are several types of trusts, as well as several reasons why you would use one to protect your assets, and ensure they go to the right entity. Choosing the right type of trust is vital, as there are significant differences in how each trust operates.

Trusts can play an important role in your planning for several reasons. If you are looking into end-of-life planning, or asset protection, it is important to understand what a trust can do for you, and the types of different trusts available. As with anything to do with planning for the future, an experienced attorney who deals in these matters will be able to assist you and make sure you are making the decisions best for you and your family.  

Types of Trusts

There are a number of options when it comes to trusts, from irrevocable trusts, pure grantor trust, revocable trust, and special needs trusts. They all serve a specific purpose, depending on your needs. However, there are certain things that all trusts have in common. For instance, you will have to name a trustee when establishing a trust, and that person will oversee the trust. In the case of an irrevocable trust, that means the trustee will be the one to ensure that it is followed upon your death, and it cannot be changed once you die. In an asset protection and a  revocable trust, you will be able to manage assets and make changes up until the time of your death. Which type is right for you depends on your circumstances, and the reasons behind creating the trust. 

How a Trust Can Help Avoid Probate

A common reason for establishing a trust is to avoid going to court over an estate after a person dies. This is called probate, and a trust can bypass that process, making it much easier on families in the aftermath of a death, as well as saving them the money that might be involved with court cases. Irrevocable and revocable trusts can both be used to avoid the probate process.

What is Private in a Trust?

Trusts also provide privacy, which may be important to some people. The probate process is publicly available, so any information on your assets could be made public. In a trust, the only people who will have information on your property or assets are the trustee, and possible the beneficiaries. 

How Trusts Provide Control

Any money you leave for your beneficiaries can be controlled by a trust long after your death. In a will, the beneficiaries receive the money when you die. In a trust, you can establish when they get the money, and how much they get, if you set it up in increments. These are especially useful for children who would not be able to look after an inheritance properly. 

A living trust can give the trustee the power to control your assets in the case of your incapacitation. This can be comforting for those who anticipate battling a long illness, or for those who are terminally ill. It can be great peace of mind knowing that a trusted person is looking after your estate. 

Estate Planning Lawyer

As mentioned above, if you are considering a trust, and are starting to look at options, an experienced estate planning and asset protection attorney can help you make the right decisions for your situation. Call The Mattar Firm today for your trust consultation or to attend on of our free asset protection workshops. 239-222-2222


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