Trust Based Estate Planning
Discussions regarding death can be highly uncomfortable and upsetting, which makes it difficult for many to begin the process of estate planning. It is something that many of us would like to avoid thinking about for as long as possible. Unfortunately, life can be unpredictable and it is important to ensure that you, your loved ones, and your assets are protected in the event of an illness, accident, or tragedy that results in your incapacitation or death. At The Estate Preservation Law Firm, we strive to make the conversation regarding your estate plan as easy and comfortable as possible without any judgment.
When Should I Begin Planning?
It is never too soon to begin your estate planning. It is helpful to think of estate planning as a lifelong process that begins in adulthood and ends at death. Throughout your life, you can continue to make changes to your estate plan as your circumstances change. Even if you are still relatively young and healthy, currently have minimal assets, or do not have a spouse or children, we still recommend sitting down with an estate planning attorney in order to gain a better understanding of the protections a will-based or trust-based estate plan can provide for you in the event of disability or incapacitation.
What is a Trust?
A trust is a legal arrangement in which an individual’s assets are transferred to a fiduciary (the trustee) to manage and distribute according to the individual’s wishes. A trust is effective immediately upon the transfer of the assets, as opposed to a will which only comes into effect following the individual’s death and probate. This helps to eliminate the need to involve the court, and reduces the likelihood of legal disputes that may hinder the distribution of assets. There are different types of trusts, including revocable trusts when can be altered, amended, or terminated at any point in time, and irrevocable trusts in which the owner relinquishes all control of their assets.
Is a Trust-Based Estate Plan Right For Me?
A trust is typically much more comprehensive than a will, and allows for more robust planning with consideration to estate taxes, complicated family relationships, or the transition of a family business. If you have significant assets, trust-based estate planning can ensure the smooth and orderly transfer of your wealth. They can also help to maintain privacy in regards to the assets you are leaving to your beneficiaries by avoiding the probate process. Additionally, a trust-based plan can protect you in the event you are incapacitated by an illness or accident, and can no longer personally manage your financial affairs.