A trust is nothing more than a set of instructions. The legal document known as a trust is a tool. The main issue for any estate plan is that it carries out your wishes and intent.
A good plan will meet your expectations. If you were on a cloud looking down after you’re gone, seeing all of your loved ones and all your stuff, would the people and the stuff be doing what you had hoped? Or is there additional conflict and stress you didn’t anticipate? Are your assets going where you want?
Living Trust – One of Our Best Tools
A trust is one of the tools we can use to carry out your wishes. There are many different kinds of trusts. The most common trust we use with clients is the Revocable Living Trust. This is a great tool because, using it properly, we can do many things that may be important to you. For example, we can use the tool to:
- Organize your assets.
- Keep control over your finances now.
- Make it easier on your loved ones later.
- Avoid probate court, with it’s additional cost and delay.
- Keep your information private, rather than being disclosed in public court records during probate.
- Plan what will happen if you become disabled (like when someone takes away your checkbook because of illness or old age).
- Set up a system to care for and protect your loved ones, such as your spouse, children or grandchildren.
- Determine who gets what after you die, as well as when and how they get it.
- Set your children up for success with their inheritance, avoiding the bad choices they may make, as well as mitigating risks to the inheritance like future divorce, lawsuits (commonly from car accidents) or other financial problems.
- Protect your family from financial risks if your spouse remarries after you pass away first.
So, is a trust right for you? It might be if you are interested in accomplishing some or many of the items on the above list.
In the end, a trust is just a tool. So first, we like to help people decide what type of plan fits their family – what unique goals, concerns and values should guide the planning. Then we look at the tools available, such as a Revocable Living Trust or other types of trusts, and decide which tool will best serve you.
If you’d like to learn more about how Edwards Group can help you effectively plan, check out one of our free Wills & Trusts: How to Get Started. At this 1-hour workshop you’ll learn how to know if you need a Will or a Trust, key steps in our process and how fees are calculated. (Plus, you get $200 off your initial meeting with an attorney.) In the meantime, be sure to also take a look at our Starter Packet.