What Trusts Do and Don’t Do

by | Mar 25, 2013 | Asset Protection, Wills and Trusts

When my son, Cole, was younger he had a book that talked about the right and wrong ways to do things. Like, “Do wear underwear. But don’t wear it on your head!”


The other day I met with a client who wanted to use their microwave as a washing machine.

Okay, not exactly. BUT what they were trying to do was just as ineffective. They had a revocable living trust and they thought it would protect their assets from nursing home costs. IT WON’T!

What Living Trusts Won’t Do

Just like kitchen appliances have unique tasks (you wouldn’t use a whisk to knead bread), different legal tools have unique tasks as well. A trust is a tool, but there are many different types of trusts. And each type of trust does different things. Here are some things a revocable living trust won’t do:

  1. Won’t protect you from nursing home expenses.
  2. Won’t protect you from creditors or debts.
  3. Won’t help you qualify for Veterans benefits.
  4. A revocable living trust will not avoid probate. (Not the document itself. You also need to retitle assets to the trust in order to avoid probate.)

However, other types of trusts WILL protect from nursing home costs, creditors and help with VA benefits.

What type of trust do you have? What type of trust do you NEED? We talk to clients nearly every week who think their old trust does something that it doesn’t actually do. Sometimes they find out too late. Other times we can still help fix things.

Let us help review your plan now and see what type of trust or other legal tools fit your family. Just give us a call at 217-726-9200 to schedule an initial meeting.