One of the biggest headaches in administering an estate after the passing of a love one is probate. Probate is notoriously known for being long, expensive and stressful. When a person passes without a will or trust, the probate process can become especially burdensome for surviving loved ones.
However, one of the best estate planning tools that can be utilized to avoid probate or minimize probate time and costs is a trust. Read on to learn more about how a trust can help to avoid probate and five other reasons for getting a trust.
Top Benefits for Setting Up a Trust
- Flexibility and Control: Just how your assets are distributed among beneficiaries can be customized under a trust. Rather than just straight distribution of a certain amount, you can designate how much, how often and under what circumstances. Especially if you foresee a trustee being irresponsible with assets, this can allow you to have more control over the situation.
- Estate Taxes: An estate can be slammed with estate and inheritance taxes without the proper legal guidance. An attorney can help you set up your trust to avoid and minimize potential estate taxes. Just another way a trust puts more money into the hands of your loved ones rather than in fees and taxes.
- Privacy: Wills go through probate and become part of public record. When you avoid probate, you are also avoiding having your assets and liabilities becoming public. Your wishes are kept private as they should be.
- Charity and Education: You can also set-up a trust for special circumstances such as a charity you are involved with or even a college fund for a loved one.
- Reduce Family Feuds: A trust can be very specific in designating exactly which loved ones get what assets. There is often little left to fight over since ambiguity is almost eliminated. For example, you could designate a specific piece of furniture to one family member.
Again, the benefits of avoiding probate cannot be stressed enough. By setting up a trust, your loved ones can skip the step where the validity of the will is established. Instead of going through this often contested legal issue, beneficiaries can get right to distributing estate assets. Probate fees can be avoided and contention many times reduced if not eliminated altogether.
For more information about how a seasoned trusts and probate attorney can help you with this matter, we invite you to please inquire about our dedicated legal services.