Why You Should Consider Forming a Trust
Oftentimes people think that estate planning is an activity for the elite and wealthy. However, visiting with a qualified estate planning attorney can help you understand what options may be available to you, including the formation of a trust. There are multiple benefits that a trust can provide for your family, and for future generations if executed properly. The following are several reasons you should consider forming a trust, along with, or instead of a last will and testament.
Trusts Never Go Through Probate
Probate is a legally required process after your death where a court will dispose of all of your property. If you have a last will and testament, your estate will go through the probate process. However, if you have a trust, the trustee owns your property (with most trusts, you will be the trustee until you become disabled or die), and it will never go through the probate process. Probate can be lengthy and costly, and having a trust will allow your family to completely avoid this entire experience.
Trusts are Private
Having a last will and testament go through the probate process is completely public information for anyone to see. Having your finances completely open to the public can create conflict among family members, create opportunities to contest the will, and simply have the public know all of the finances of your estate.
A trust is managed and legally owned by the trustee, meaning that any property of your estate that is given to your beneficiaries might not be reached by divorcing spouses, creditors, or even bankruptcies. A trust may help insulate your estate and allows you to ensure that your property can be distributed according to your wishes.
Trusts Protect Beneficiaries with Disabilities
If one of your beneficiaries has a disability, having a trust will ensure that they still maintain all access to any government programs such as Social Security and/or Medicaid after your death. Additionally, having a trust will allow for your beneficiary to use your estate money for any necessary medical expenses that the government programs do not cover.
Trusts Protect Beneficiaries that are Minor Children
Trusts allow minor children to receive their money exactly when you want, and how you want. This protects your assets and ensures that you can determine exactly how much and when your minor child will receive any assets from your estate.
Trusts Protect You if you are Incapacitated
If you ever become incapacitated during your lifetime, having a trust can ensure that your trustee can provide you with the assets you need for medical care during your lifetime, as opposed to a last will and testament that cannot access your estate assets until your death.
Let Us Help You Today
Estate planning is not just for the exceptionally wealthy, in fact everyone should have a plan to distribute their estate according to their wishes upon their death. Contact the experienced Prince Frederick probate attorneys serving Southern Maryland at Meng Law at 410-535-5500 or online today for a free consultation.