A Last Will and Testament is typically seen as the first step in an estate planning strategy. It is meant to express your final wishes, whatever they might be, and the amount of control you have can be pretty extraordinary. But rarely are they the best and final option for every individual and family. More often than not, this is where a trust can help.
Unlike wills, trusts can accomplish a variety of additional goals — especially while you’re still alive — and give you and your family the peace of mind that all of your bases are covered now and into the future.
Why someone would consider a trust
A trust is a fiduciary arrangement designed to let you decide exactly how you want your assets distributed and then transferred to your chosen beneficiaries. Unlike a will that only takes effect when you die, a trust can be created and managed during your lifetime. This is huge in that it allows you the ability to account for disability and incapacitation — not just death.
Granted, the intricacies of a trust are a bit more complicated than a will, but the biggest reason to consider one is specificity. Simply put, you can get very creative when it comes to what happens next.
A few examples include:
- Ability to manage them while you’re still alive
- Transfer property
- Name a successor trustee
- Plan for incapacitation (dementia, Alzheimer’s, stroke, injury)
- Different trust types to meet your unique needs (ex: protect a special needs child)
- Additional privacy
- Minimize estate taxes
- Protect beneficiaries from creditors and lawsuits
- Avoid Probate
- Charitable giving
At the end of the day, everyone’s circumstances are different, and whether or not a trust is the right instrument for your unique situation depends on a variety of factors. But the odds are very high that proper estate planning for your unique needs could involve much more than writing a will. The attorneys at Christman Ramsey & Foster, PC realize that while there are a variety of legal instruments designed to cover all of your bases, it can be confusing knowing which one checks all the appropriate boxes when it comes to your final wishes.
We are here to help you put together an estate plan that goes beyond the will with a trust, health care directives, powers of attorney, and various other documents that, when working together, cover all of your bases now and into the future. Our attorneys will help you create legal instruments to distribute your assets according to your wishes, nominate a guardian for minor children, minimize family disputes, avoid probate and estate administration, and plan for incapacity.
Please call Christman Attorneys for your legal needs today!
Please consult an attorney for advice about your situation. The material on this website and in this or any blog article we publish are for informational purposes only and do not constitute legal advice. The attorneys at Christman Ramsey & Foster, PC believe in tailoring legal advice and solutions to your circumstances.
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