If you have the common misconception that a trust is only for the very wealthy, you are among the majority. The many people who hire us as their estate planning attorney ask for a will and when we mention a trust might be a better option, they quickly explain that they do not have those kinds of assets. We want to help you understand that even with moderate means, a trust might be a better option for you and your family.
Protection of Minor Children
If both parents die while there are minor children, with a will, their inheritance goes into a court-supervised account. If you choose a trust as your beneficiary for your assets, IRA and life insurance, then the proceeds would instead go there for the trustee to handle. When you name the guardian, they would have control of those funds to use for the benefit of your children rather than dealing with the courts for their needs. And, as the parent, you can choose at what age the child gets control of any remaining funds.
When a will is filed with the court, it becomes public record. That means anyone can look up your estate and to whom you left your belongings. When you have a trust, it remains private between you, the trustee(s) and beneficiaries.
Simplify Complicated Family Matters
With the increase of blended families, there are many more complicated issues that arise upon the death of a parent. If you have children from a previous marriage and want to ensure that they get some of your property rather than your current spouse and children, that can be accomplished with a trust. A competent estate planning attorney can make sure every intended beneficiary, minor or adult, receives what they need or deserve. It is much harder to contest a trust than a will.
Minimize Estate Taxes
Depending upon your net worth, you may be able to minimize or even avoid state and federal estate taxes upon your death with a trust. This will help more of your inheritance be passed along to your beneficiaries.
Because every family has a different situation and because laws are always changing, you should have a local estate planning attorney who can advise you when you need to make changes to your estate plan. Wagstaff Law Office offers estate planning services that include wills, trusts, living wills, power of attorney, and guardianship needs. We’re here to help, call us for your initial consultation at (727) 584-8182.