A Trust can be a great tool for helping you administer your estate. Trusts are designed to help you manage your assets and to pass them on to your loved ones without having to go through the burdensome probate process. But how do you know if it’s the right arrangement for you and your family? Learning more about the purpose of a trust will help you decide what the best option is for securing your legacy.

The Purpose of a Trust

A trust is a legal arrangement in which you name an individual—known as a Trustee—who is then charged with managing your assets. When you draw up a Trust, you’ll include a detailed set of instructions to ensure that your Trustee manages your assets according to your wishes.

You Are the First Trustee

Because you appoint yourself as initial Trustee of your Trust, you remain in control of all the assets you put in the trust.  In the event you become disabled, you hand off the trust to someone you have chosen to act as Trustee and to manage the Trust for your benefit by following your instructions. After you pass on, your Trustee will then be in charge of managing and distributing the Trust assets to your beneficiaries.

Not All Trusts Are the Same

There are several different kinds of trusts, with the two most basic categories being revocable and irrevocable. Revocable Trusts can be revoked or altered in that the assets always remain available to you, the trust maker.  When Asset Protection, Medicaid Planning, or Income and Estate Tax planning are necessary, Irrevocable Trusts can have great advantages.  With the advantages of Irrevocable Trusts, however, can come restrictions on your ability to control and access your assets.

Do I Need a Trust?

Setting up a Trust can provide significant benefits for your estate. Chief among these is that it allows you to bypass the probate process. Probate, a legal process by which a Will is confirmed and deemed valid, can be time-consuming and unpredictable. With a Trust, your assets can be managed and distributed according to your instructions without delay. Because you avoid the public probate process, Trusts also allow the nature of your estate to remain private.

Though Wills are a dependable method to distribute assets at death, estate plans that utilize a Trust to manage and distribute assets are less complicated for families during times of grief and stress and are almost always cheaper from beginning to end than plans relying on a Will.

Ultimately, deciding whether to draft a Will or to create a Trust will depend on your specific circumstances. Trusts have a clear advantage for blended families, families owning property in multiple states, families who value privacy, and families who would like to avoid the wear and tear of a court process while containing expenses. Talking with an estate planning professional and getting all the trust information you need is the best way to ensure you’re making the right choice for you and your family.

Contact the Estate Planning Law Group of Georgia

If you have any questions about setting up a trust or about any aspect of your estate plan, do not hesitate to reach out to the experienced attorneys at the Estate Planning Law Group of Georgia. Fill out the form below and start securing your legacy today.

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