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4 benefits of trusts that you should know about

On Behalf of | Mar 4, 2024 | Probate & Estate Planning |

Estate planning is a critical element of financial management that often gets overlooked until later in life. However, the earlier you start planning, the better prepared you can be to protect your assets and better ensure that your wishes are honored.

Planning your estate involves creating a roadmap for distributing your assets, detailing your medical preferences in the event of capacity, appointing guardians for minor children and on and on. While a will is a foundation of estate planning, it’s not the only tool at your disposal. Trusts offer unique advantages that can complement your will and enhance your overall estate plan.

Manage assets for beneficiaries who lack experience

A trust can provide valuable protection if you have young and financially inexperienced beneficiaries. You can establish specific guidelines for distributing and using trust assets. This allows you to control the timing and amount of the inheritance, helping ensure your beneficiaries receive the resources they need responsibly.

Avoid probate and save on costs

As you may know, probating an estate is the legal process of validating a will and distributing assets. It can be time-consuming, expensive and public. However, assets placed in a trust typically bypass probate, saving your beneficiaries from the hassle and cost associated with it. This allows for a smoother and more efficient transfer of wealth.

Minimize estate taxes

Based on the size of your estate, estate taxes can bite off a significant chunk of your assets. Thankfully, certain types of trusts, like irrevocable living trusts, can help reduce your taxable estate, potentially saving your heirs a substantial amount of money. It’s important to consider your unique circumstances to determine if a tax-saving trust is right for your situation.

Provide for special needs beneficiaries

If you have a special needs beneficiary, a trust can be an invaluable tool. Assets you place in a special needs trust can be used to supplement their government benefits without compromising their eligibility for programs like Medicaid. This helps ensure your loved one receives the care they need while maintaining their access to crucial support systems.

Trusts offer a flexible and powerful way to enhance your estate plan. By understanding the benefits they provide, you can better ensure that your wealth is allocated per your wishes and that the next generation is taken care of in the ways you envision. Seeking legal counsel is crucial for creating a personalized, enforceable plan that addresses your family’s specific needs and goals.