Like a Will, a Trust allows you to decide who gets your property. However, there are several important differences and benefits of Trusts over traditional Wills. These estate planning tools can help avoid probate and lessen stress for your family members in the future. To learn more about Trusts, set up a meeting with a knowledgeable attorney at Sparks Law.
During your life, a Trust can own assets such as property, financial accounts, or savings. Trusts can even be beneficiaries to retirement accounts. There are several types of Trusts, the most common of which is called a Revocable Living Trust.
For small business owners, a Trust can be an especially beneficial tool. Rather than just being listed in your Will, business interests that are retitled in the name of your Trust can avoid probate court. The named trustee will have immediate access to your assets upon your passing without court oversight.
As the person overseeing the Trust, a trustee has authority to distribute the assets according to the terms of the Trust agreement. Instead of petitioning the court to probate a Will, a trustee can present a document called a Certificate of Trust to the bank. This allows them to step into the shoes of the person who passed away and take possession of the property in the Trust. The trustee will then pay debts and final expenses of the deceased person before distributing the assets.
The main benefit is that a Trust offers some flexibility during your life. You can buy and sell Trust assets as you please up until the date of your death. You can also create provisions in your Trust to allow your children to inherit assets at a specific time in their life, such as when they graduate from college. Additionally, Trusts allow your family to avoid probate. If your assets are properly titled, the court does not need to get involved.
Along with a Trust, you can create a Pour-Over Will to help avoid a long probate process. This document names the Trust as the beneficiary if you are unable to title all your assets in the name of your Trust. Upon your death, the assets named in your Will can “pour over” into the Trust to be distributed according to those terms.
Although many people might think that they cannot afford a Trust, this estate planning tool is comparable to the cost of creating a Will with legal assistance. A Trust can help your family save a significant amount of money by avoiding the expensive probate process.
There are many other benefits of Trusts, such as asset protection and tax planning. Regardless of your specific needs and goals, a conversation with an attorney at Sparks Law could help you decide what type of Trust might be best for you. Call today to discuss your situation and secure your family’s financial future.