Tuesday, October 29, 2013
Many don’t realize that trust funds can be an incredibly useful tool for middle-class families. Here are some reasons you may want to consider executing a trust:
- Your kids shouldn’t inherit at age 18. If you and your spouse were to pass away at the same time, your children, by default, would inherit all of your assets at once, usually at age 18. Many parents would agree that their children at age 18 would be too young to handle significant assets outright and would rather use a trust to stagger distribution dates.
- You want to protect your children against creditors. If your children inherit money in a trust, that inheritance will be protected from creditors.
- Your beneficiary isn’t good with money. A trust may be appropriate if your beneficiary demonstrates poor decision-making or may be susceptible to outside influence.
- Your family situation is complicated. If you have children from previous marriages, you may want to create a trust that looks out for your spouse as well as your children.
- You would rather avoid the probate process. When your estate goes through probate, you will need to have an attorney, go to court, and waste time in the process. It’s easier to put your assets in the name of a trust and have it administered in that way.
- You have a disabled child. Special trusts allow children with special needs to inherit your estate without the risk of losing government benefits.
- You’re worried about privacy. Wills become public after death, but trusts are private documents.
See Libby Kane, Is a Trust Right for You?, Fox Business, Oct. 25, 2013.