4 Reasons Even Non-Millionaires Should Consider A Trust In Estate Planning
It is the most common reason that people use to justify not creating a trust as part of their estate planning, so there is a good chance you have either heard the excuse or even stated it yourself: A lack of wealth. Approximately 1 in 3 respondents to a survey conducted by Caring.org stated that they do not have sufficient assets to consider a trust, even though they admitted to being aware of the benefits. Many of these individuals do not take a closer look at the benefits of trusts in estate planning because they cannot overcome the perceived financial barrier.
Overlooking a trust because of net worth is an unfortunate mistake, but one that is easily preventable. Though you may not have millions to protect, there are plenty of advantages for non-millionaires. A Dade City trust and estate planning attorney can explain them in detail, and a summary of the basics is informative.
- You want your assets to go to loved ones. If you die intestate or only have a will in your estate plan, it will be necessary for your assets and debts to go through the probate process. Estate administration is a court proceeding that involves complicated laws and legal requirements, so the expenses and legal fees add up. Your assets go toward the costs of probate instead of your loved ones.
When you have a trust, the probate process is vastly simplified. You do not own trust assets as an individual, so they are not part of your estate.
- You seek to support a person with disabilities. If you have a loved one that qualifies for public benefits because of a disabling medical condition, distributing amounts to this person outright could lead him or her to be disqualified for assistance. You can avoid this harsh result by creating a special needs trust, which distributes funds for designated purposes – and protects the beneficiary’s eligibility.
- Your beneficiary needs controls in place. You may have someone in your life that you love dearly and want to include in your estate plan. However, you might harbor concerns about that person’s financial responsibility. With a trust, you can implement controls on the distributions to a beneficiary, such as provisions that pay out:
- Based upon age;
- When the beneficiary reaches a milestone, such as graduation; or,
- For certain amounts, like college tuition.
- You value your privacy. A probate case proceeds in court, so all the paperwork and orders are public record. A trust agreement is a private, confidential document. The agreement itself, and all the assets held within the trust, are not open to the public eye.
Discuss Options with a Florida Trusts and Estate Planning Lawyer
This overview shows how your own net worth is not the only consideration when looking at trusts in estate planning. To learn about additional factors, please call 352-567-0055 or go online to reach The Law Office of Laurie R. Chane in Dade City. We can set up a consultation to describe how various types of trusts protect your legacy.