Your Questions About Setting Up a Trust, Answered: Who, Why, When & How?

Do you want the wealth and property you have accumulated to really help make a difference in the lives of people and institutions you care about? Have you thought about what would happen to your assets in the event of your death

Wills can be helpful, but setting up a trust may just be an iron-clad way for you to ensure that your money and assets get distributed they way you truly want it to be.

There are a lot of misconceptions about who can benefit from trusts and why people use them, and we are here to clear those misconceptions up.

Once you read this post, you will understand why more people are choosing to set up trusts.

Who Should Think About Setting Up A Trust

Some people falsely believe that trusts are only beneficial to people with a lot of money. In truth, a trust is not designed to benefit only the wealthy; it is designed to make it easier for anyone’s assets and property to be distributed after they die or become incapacitated.

ANYONE with assets, such as: real estate, life insurance policies, money in retirement and brokerage accounts, and valuable personal property can benefit from a trust.

Think of establishing a trust as a way to manage family estate planning. It will ensure that everyone gets what is rightfully their’s, according to your wishes, when you pass away. 

Why You Should Set Up A Trust

Most assets and property will pass to your next of kin if you do not have a plan in place when you die. Some people may not want that.  In fact, you may not even realize who your next of kin is!  

Here are a few reasons why leaving your wealth or assets to your immediate next of kin does not reflect your actual desires:

  • You might want to ensure grandchildren or nieces and nephews have money set aside for education that their parents cannot touch.
  • You may have a spouse who has children from a previouse marriage. You want your spouse to inherit some of your assests but not his or her children.
  • You may have one or two children you wish to leave assets for but other children that would not it would not be appropriate for or might not be responsible. 
  • You have a special needs family member that will need to have the assets taken care of for them.  

While you consider who to leave your assets to, it is also important to remember that trusts do not have to benefit people, they can also help institutions and charities you care about.

Moreover, there are a variety of other benefits that come from trusts.  For instance, a trust can allow for someone to continue to manage your assets if you become incapacitated. It can also set rules about how your assets are distributed upon your death and can avoid things going into probate.

When You Should Set Up A Trust

Ideally, people would set up a trust as soon as they know they want one. Today, for example!

But the right time to set up a trust will depend on how you want the trust to operate.

Many choose to make a revocable trust that lets you change the stipulations of the trust at any time. If you want to make a decision that will stick, you can choose to establish an irrevocable trust that cannot be changed once it is established. 

It is not unusual for some people to make revocable living trusts to hold assets while they are alive, then make them irrevocable (permanent) upon their death. 

If you want to set up your trust at the right time, think about why you want to have the trust in the first place. 

Are you leaving a trust so that your children can provide for your grandchildren, or are you more concerned about your children being able to provide for themselves now?

You may want to set distribution dates to ensure that beneficiaries get funds when they are established with careers and have kids in their 40’s, or you may want to get them the funds ASAP so they can care for themselves. 

How You Can Set Up A Trust

Since we have talked, briefly, about the variety of ways a trust can benefit you, it is time to start working on setting up a trust of your own.

If you want to set up a trust, you will need the help of a skilled trust attorney. A trust attorney can walk you through the process from start to finish and can help determine the best way for you to establish your trust.

Be sure to contact us today so we can help you start planning for your family’s future.

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