When people write or talk about trusts in the news, they are usually complicated and exotic. The implication of stories like this is that everyone needs trust like this in order to avoid taxes or otherwise protect assets for their loved ones.
Nothing is further from the truth for the vast majority of people. A simple will is often enough to be sure that your assets are handed down in the manner you see fit. A trust may be useful under certain circumstances, but it does not have to be complicated or expensive.
Reasons to have a trust
If you have children under the age of 18, a minor trust can be a good way to protect the assets that will carry them through to adulthood. This includes money for their care, their education, and any other needs.
A minor trust is simple to set up, and you can designate it to be the recipient of all of your assets including your life insurance. The most important consideration is who will be the trustee who will manage those funds until your children reach adulthood or whatever age you think is appropriate.
Similarly, a special needs trust can guarantee that any children who are not capable of caring for themselves have the resources they need to carry through life. The principle is the same as a minor trust, but may last for their entire life.
A living trust can transfer your assets to the trust in the event that you are incapacitated and need care. This can be a good way of protecting your assets when you are elderly. Assistance is often available to those without assets, so placing them in a trust can be a big benefit.
Starts with a will
A simple will can designate that all your assets go to a trust, set up as you like. It does not have to be more complicated than that most of the time. It is not expensive or time consuming to create and there is no good reason to put it off.
More might be necessary based on your own family circumstances, of course. It’s important to have good advice in estate planning from someone who takes the time to get to know you – your situation, your values, and your assets.
But there is no reason to expect that the process will be expensive or complicated. There is rarely much need for that. You just want to be sure that your loved ones are taken care of, and that is usually very easy to do. A simple will, and perhaps a simple trust, is usually all you need.