In 2018 when Aretha Franklin passed away, she joined a long list of celebrities who died without creating a legal will. While estate planning can be complex, setting up a trust is typically a straightforward process. Setting up a trust involves transferring your assets to a trustee and allows you to protect assets even after you pass away.
A Trust Controls Your Assets
Even after death, setting up a trust can protect who controls your assets. Decide who gets the money, how much, and when the money becomes available. Without creating a trust, these decisions can be left in the court’s hands and take months, even years, to resolve. There are two types of trusts to consider when estate planning:
- Testamentary trust takes effect when you die. Any assets relating to your testamentary trust account for a portion of your estate. Therefore, they will be subject to estate fees. Protect your assets with a trust that you can make changes to before your death
- Living Trust passes proprietary ownership of your assets to your beneficiaries right away. Over time you can add more assets to your trust. Since your assets are transferred to your beneficiaries while you’re alive, they are no longer part of your estate and will not be subject to probate laws.
Common Uses for Trusts
Determining whether you should create a living trust when estate planning depends on your intentions and unique situation. Setting up a trust can help you avoid large deductions. If you remarry, setting up a trust can provide support to your children from a previous marriage.
You can also use a trust to bypass probate. Protect your assets with a living trust when estate planning can help you bypass probate by passing your assets to a beneficiary while you’re still alive. During probate court, it can help settle disputes when the family starts to fight over assets.
At Mark Weseman Law, we have the knowledge and experience to help your family determine the best estate planning options depending on your individual situation. Reach out to our team to schedule a consultation and protect your assets before it’s too late.