What is a Trust and Why Do You Need One?

Trusts are an essential estate planning tool. Many people think they only need a will in their estate plan, but that’s simply not true. In today’s blog post, we’re explaining  what a trust is and why you may need one.

What is a trust?

A trust is a legal vehicle through which you can grant someone you trust (who will be referred to as the “trustee” in this arrangement) the authority to control and manage assets on behalf of your heir (or “beneficiary”). This fiduciary relationship has many benefits.

Why do I need a trust?

There are many different kinds of trusts with different purposes and requirements. The most common type of trust is a revocable trust for the benefit of a spouse, children, grandchildren or other loved ones. There are other types of specialty trusts. For example,  special needs trusts allow you to provide for a special needs loved one without worrying they will mismanage the funds or become ineligible for government benefits. A pet trust makes arrangements to ensure your furry friends are provided for when you’re gone. The possibilities are countless, but most trusts have some desirable benefits in common.

  1. Keep some of your assets out of probate.

Upon your death, your estate will most likely need to be administered  through probate before it can be distributed. Probate can be a time-consuming and expensive process. Luckily, assets in a trust  avoid the probate process, saving your loved ones time, money, and stress.

  1. Maintain privacy.

Probate records become a part of the public record, meaning anyone can access information about your  assets and debts, and who inherited what from you. If you value your privacy, you can avoid this issue by passing including your assets in  a trust. Trusts are NOT part of public record. 

  1. Make arrangements for scenarios other than death.

A trust can also be helpful while you’re still alive. Though it’s not easy to think about, accidents and illnesses could leave anyone mentally and/or physically incapacitated at any time. When your assets are in a trust, you don’t have to worry about what will happen to them  because the trustee is responsible for managing them.

Who can help me with my estate planning?

If you’re ready to create an estate plan, which may include a trust, the Robertson & Williams team is here to help you. If you have questions or if you’re ready to get started, we encourage you to contact us today!

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