A trust is a crucial part of a well-crafted estate plan. Trusts allow a third party, known as the trustee, to hold and have control over assets in the trust for the benefit of the trust beneficiaries. Based on your needs, a trust can be a fairly straightforward document, holding a few pieces of real property or a bank account, or may be more complex, holding business interests, intellectual property, security accounts and real estate. An experienced attorney can draft a QTIP trust to provide income for a surviving spouse, a charitable lead or remainder trust to benefit a cause you hold dear, or trusts for your grandchildren that avoid certain taxes and shift future appreciation on certain assets to your children during your lifetime. There are many benefits to having a trust in your estate plan, but here are two main ones:
Avoidance of Probate: People may want to avoid the lengthy and costly process of probate for several reasons. First, probate proceedings are a matter of public record. A properly drafted trust allows assets contained in the trust to remain private and pass outside of the court system of probate. Second, the probate process may tie up assets for any length of time, from a minimum of three months to the possibility of years, if there is any dispute in the estate administration.
Control of Wealth: You are in control of how, when, and to whom your assets will be distributed from the trust. You may choose to keep assets in your trust during your lifetime and maintain access to those assets, or you may choose to form a trust to benefit your heirs for years to come. With a properly drafted trust, you’re even able to protect your legacy from the creditors of your heirs.
When you’ve worked hard for what you have, you want to make sure it stays protected. Formation and funding of a trust is an intricate process, so it is always best to seek the expertise of an experienced estate attorney. Contact us at Ourednik Law Offices today for more information.