As you consider the different steps you need to take in order to create a complete estate plan, you may have specific ideas for what you want to happen with your estate assets after you pass. One of the most common reasons for estate planning is to have the ability to decide which heirs and beneficiaries get which assets and property. Deciding these matters ahead of time may help prevent conflict and disputes in the future.
It is possible to leave assets for a specific person directly through the terms of a will. However, this may not be the most effective way to accomplish this goal. In many situations, it will make more sense for your estate planning goals to establish a trust as a way to set aside and protect assets for a specific use. A trust could be a beneficial addition to an existing estate plan in order to give you more control over your assets during and after your lifetime.
Considerations for your trust
There are different types of trusts, and the right choice depends on your specific goals for your assets. One of the primary benefits of a trust is that the assets held within a trust do not have to go through the probate process. There are also certain tax advantages available with a trust. Other facts you may take into consideration as you think about a trust as an addition to your estate plan include:
- Trusts are not necessarily only beneficial for individuals who have a significant amount of wealth or assets.
- Trusts can hold different types of assets in addition to money. They can hold investment accounts, real estate and other types of property.
- Since trusts do not have to go through probate, you can maintain a certain level of privacy over your estate assets and other details.
- You can tailor the terms of a trust to suit your individual needs and specific objectives, such as charitable giving or the care of a special needs loved one.
An assessment of your current plans and the goals you have for your future can provide you with insight regarding the specific estate planning tools that will benefit you. If you believe a trust will help with accomplishing your objectives for your estate, you can gain valuable insight from learning more about the different types of trusts and what they can do for you.