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Is a trust the right step to complete your estate plan?

Is a trust the right step to complete your estate plan?

Washington readers understand the importance of estate planning, but many people fail to realize the other tools they may need in addition to a will. A strong and carefully drafted will is the foundation of any estate plan, but you may need more than that in order to have full protection and control over your assets. Depending on your individual situation, you may benefit from adding a trust to your plan.

If you are unsure of whether a trust could truly be beneficial for you, it may be worthwhile to learn about the various types of trusts and their purposes. It is possible that a specific trust will allow you to accomplish a specific goal you have for your assets after your death. As with all important estate planning decisions, it is beneficial to seek help before moving forward.

Different types of trusts for different goals

Trusts accomplish different things. There are both benefits and potential drawbacks for each option, and you would be wise to think carefully about the implications of any decision you make. It may be helpful to consider the types of trusts that could benefit you. A few types that may work for your situation include:

  • Charitable trust – This type of trust allows you to set aside assets in order to make a significant contribution of physical assets or money to a charitable organization after your death. This option may offer certain tax benefits to the recipient.
  • Special needs trust – With this type of trust, you can set aside assets for the care and protection of a person who cannot care for himself or herself. This will not affect the recipient's eligibility for government benefits.
  • Asset protection trust – This option allows the creator of the trust to set aside assets so that they have protection against the collection efforts of potential creditors in the future.

These are just a few of the options available to you, but others include revocable trusts, constructive trusts, irrevocable trusts and more. There may be certain benefits to passing assets to beneficiaries and heir this way rather than or in addition to a will.

The right estate plan for you

If you do not think your estate plan is complete, it is in your interests to discuss your options with an experienced estate planning attorney as soon as possible. While it is impossible to predict the future, you can put plans in place that will allow you to have peace of mind regarding your estate and hard-earned assets.