What is the Purpose of a Trust in Estate Planning?
Trusts can play an important role in estate planning for several reasons. If you are looking into estate planning, or are starting the process, it is important to understand what a trust can do for you, and the different types of trusts available. As with anything to do with estate planning, an experienced estate planning attorney at the Mattar Firm who deals in these matters will be able to assist you, and make sure you’re making the decisions best for you.
Types of Trusts
There are a number of options when it comes to trusts, from irrevocable trusts, to living 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. In a living or revocable trust, however, 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.
Reasons for Establishing a Trust
A common reason for establishing a trust in an estate plan is to avoid going to court over an estate after a person passes away. 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. There are other ways to avoid probate, especially for smaller estates. It may be worth exploring those options before establishing a trust, depending on what your individual and familial needs are.
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.
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.
Some trusts, such as an irrevocable trust, can shield your assets from creditors upon your passing. In an irrevocable trust, you are essentially giving your assets away. Since you no longer own them, there is nothing for creditors to come after. They can also keep money safe from things like lawsuits or other legal haggling over your estate.
Consult with an Estate Planning Attorney
As mentioned above, if you are considering an estate plan, and are starting to look at options, an experienced estate planning attorney at The Mattar Firm can help you make the right decisions for your situation. It is important to make the best decision possible for yourself, your family, and your loved ones, and establishing a trust fitted to your needs is one way to go about that.
Contact The Mattar Firm
At The Mattar Firm our experienced estate planning attorneys can assist you with establishing a trust. Contact us today at 239-222-2222.