Determining Whether You Need a Trust

It used to be that you needed to have a Rockefeller last name to even consider needing a trust, but times have changed. These days, more and more people look to establishing trusts in lieu of having a will when planning their legacies.

The expenses associated with establishing a trust can be significant so a good rule of thumb to follow is that if you have at least $100,000 and have significant assets in real estate, a trust can be a great idea. Trusts also have the benefit of being flexible and varied and can minimize estate taxes while at the same time protecting your estate from lawsuits and creditors.

Another major benefit of establishing a living trust is bypassing the time and cost of probate—that costly process of administering your estate that costs thousands of dollars and can take years to finalize.

In many U. S. states, you are able to name beneficiaries to a living trust to avoid probate and establish them as “payable on death,” ensuring that your loved ones will receive their inheritance just as they would under a legal will but without the increased risk of disputes and lawsuits.

Working with an expert trust lawyer, be sure you take as many steps as possible to avoid probate—establishing up-to-date beneficiaries and establishing durable financial power of attorney in the event that you’re incapacitated for any reason and unable to make important decisions related to your estate.

If you think a trust is a good idea for your family and estate, be sure to find a qualified Sanford trust attorney to help you through the process. No matter which way you go when planning your estate, maintain regular contact with your trust attorney to make sure your estate is protected.