A will is a standard legal document in your estate plan. It’s possible that your heirs and beneficiaries may have their inheritance taxed, have to wait for probate and could get caught up in legal disputes if you only have a will. When you make your estate plan, you may come to realize that a trust may be better than a will.
A trust allows you, as a grantor, to have a trustee manage your assets for the benefit of your beneficiaries. A revocable trust is one of the most common forms of trusts, which can be altered at any time by the grantor. However, you have many choices when making a trust. Here are some of the options:
Do you have a pet? If your pet outlives you, then you can put aside assets in a pet trust to help fund their needs. A pet trust could include assets that are specifically used for the purpose of feeding, sheltering and handling any of your pet’s health needs.
Special needs trust
Does one of your beneficiaries have supplemental income and health benefits? An inheritance could create issues for your beneficiaries and cause them to lose their health benefits. You could make a special needs trust that considers this issue and disperses assets appropriately so your beneficiary still retains their health benefits.
Do you support a charity? If you want to give back to the communities that supported you or to fund research programs, then you could make a charitable trust. Assets in a charitable trust could disperse at one given time or over multiple predetermined times.
Do you have grandchildren or great-grandchildren? You could make a generation-skipping trust that would give assets to beneficiaries who are two or three generations younger. These assets could also be instructed for use only for higher education or business planning, for example.
You have many options when making an estate plan. It can help to reach out for legal help to learn what you can include in your estate plan.