One of the most common misconceptions regarding estate planning is that a will is all you need to ensure that your family members will get what you want them to have. Although this is certainly a great way to protect your assets, and one that any probate lawyer still will highly recommend, there are other steps you need to take to protect your assets. One of those includes creating a trust for your assets. But is it really necessary? Read on to learn about the many benefits that come from putting your assets into a trust before your death.
How a Probate Lawyer Would Define a Trust
Understandably, most people are confused as to the difference between a will and a trust. Although a will provides you with the ability to clearly state your intentions for your assets in terms of who gets what, a trust may be seen as an added layer of protection for those assets with living and testamentary trusts being your two options. In many cases, a probate lawyer would recommend that you go this route if you have many assets to your name. Thus, you will often work with a probate attorney to develop a carefully crafted trust as well as pick the (if not both) type of trust you want to include in your estate plan.
The Benefits of Adding Assets to Your Trust
As stated above, a trust is often seen as an extra layer of protection for your estate. However, some people may still have some reservations about contacting their nearest probate attorney in Las Vegas and starting the process. Below includes the list of benefits that come with working and creating a trust with a professional estate planning attorney in Las Vegas.
May Help to Avoid Probate
It’s safe to say that you don’t want your family to both grieve your loss and worry about obtaining your assets at the same time. However, this is exactly what happens when there are many assets to be distributed and not enough documentation to prove what goes where. So what’s so bad about the probate process? The reason many want to avoid this legal process is because of just how long it takes. In some states, relatives may not be able to obtain your assets for up to six months and, in some rare cases, even years. In addition, unlike a will, a trust agreement does not become public information, thus helping to protect your family from potential lawsuits filed from distant relatives who may want their piece of the pie. Having a trust in place allows you to help eliminate the potential need to go through the probate process and the potential problems that come with not having one.
Offers Protection During Life
One of the unique aspects of a trust is that it can be beneficial to your estate during life as well. For example, if you are ever unfortunately involved in a serious accident or become gravely ill, your trust can kick in. Furthermore, utilizing what is called a revocable trust, you do not have to pass away for your family to take control of your assets. To be exact, control of your assets transfers to a trustee chosen by yourself at the moment of the trust’s creation. So what can a trustee do with your assets while you’re incapacitated? A trustee will be able to use assets to pay off basic costs of living expenses for your family, any medical bills that accumulate and even be allowed to file your taxes for that year. Although this is something that nobody ever wants to think about, it is vital that you include a revocable trust into your estate plan.
May Provide Certain Tax Benefits
There’s no doubt about it; one of the biggest concerns for people with a trust are the taxes that their relatives may have to pay at the time of their passing. When you create a trust, you will be given the option of it being either a revocable or irrevocable trust. A revocable trust is often the preferred route for some people as it is very flexible, and thus, things can be amended. However, that could lead to some uncertainty regarding how much taxes need to be paid. An irrevocable trust cannot be changed after you sign. Going this route may lead to certain taxes, such as a gift tax, having to be paid, but it can place you in a great position to add assets that may be sheltered from an estate tax after you pass away.
As stated above, a revocable trust offers you the ability to change certain things within your trust agreement at any point in your life. This may be the best route to take if you are young, as life will often change drastically. For example, new children may be born, or certain relatives may pass away.