When building your estate plan at any stage of your life, it is important to consider what resources are available to you beyond just a simple will. For example, including a trust in your estate plan gives you unique options for passing on your estate that are not available through the use of a will alone.
A living trust is an estate planning tool that gives you greater control of how you distribute assets to your beneficiaries while also being fully revocable during your lifetime. While there may be a common misconception that trusts are only for the significantly wealthy, there are actually several kinds of people from various backgrounds that can reap the benefits of using a trust.
New parents who do not yet have estate planning documents in place might use this milestone as the perfect place to start. Writing a will allows you to name an alternate guardian for your children, but you might use a trust to decide when in your child’s lifetime they will inherit your assets.
If a business owner passes away with nothing but a will to indicate how ownership should pass on, there can be a significant impact on the business as the probate process resolves. Using a trust instead ensures that ownership can pass on seamlessly and immediately.
Those looking to avoid probate
Ultimately, anyone can benefit from using a trust if they simply wish to avoid putting their family through probate. Unlike a will, there is no need for a court to verify the validity of a trust document under normal circumstances.
While having a last will and testament in place is certainly important, there are also tasks that only a trust can accomplish. Using both in equal measure is the key to a comprehensive estate plan.