Two common ways of passing on assets to beneficiaries are through a will or a trust. While both options have advantages, a trust offers several unique benefits over a will.
It is crucial to have such information when creating your estate plans to ensure you make the right choices to protect your interests and those of your loved ones. Here is what you need to know about the advantages of a trust.
1. A trust can help avoid probate
A will must go through probate, a court-supervised process of distributing assets after a person’s death. It can be costly and time-consuming with little to no privacy, as court proceedings are a matter of public record.
In contrast, assets held in a trust can pass directly to the beneficiaries without going through probate. Your dependents will not have to wait for probate to conclude before taking over their inheritance with a trust.
2. Flexibility and greater control
Trusts offer greater flexibility than wills regarding the distribution of your estate to the beneficiaries. For example, you can instruct that certain assets are to be held in trust for a specific period or distributed in a certain way.
In addition, a trust can provide for the distribution of assets to beneficiaries based on certain conditions, such as reaching a certain age or achieving a specific milestone. Wills do not offer such flexibility or control.
3. Asset protection benefits
Trusts can also protect assets from mismanagement or third parties. This is important if you have beneficiaries who are minors or have special needs. A trust can ensure that the assets are well managed on their behalf, so you won’t have to worry about the estate falling into the wrong hands or misappropriation when you are gone.
Learn more about how trusts work
If you are thinking of incorporating a trust in your estate plans, it is best to familiarize yourself with how everything works. There are several types of trust to choose from, and although they may have some similarities, each serves a different purpose. If you have any questions, seek informed counsel to help align your estate plans with your objectives.