Trusts are often associated with the rich. However, the uber-wealthy are not the only people who can benefit from using trusts. There is no minimum asset level or net worth required to set up a trust, and you can put any amount of money into a trust.
A will allows you to distribute your worldly goods, select a guardian for minor children and name an executor to carry out your wishes.
You created your revocable living trust to hold your assets. You did so because of the probate avoidance and other benefits. You may have included sophisticated tax-planning provisions in your trust.
Estate planning is all about ensuring that your wishes are met after your death. All estate plans should include a will and powers of attorney. However, in many cases, a trust has additional benefits beyond what can be accomplished with the will and powers of attorney.
As a result of illness, old age or incapacity, what may happen when you can no longer handle your own decision-making, handle your own money or make your own health care choices? Who can step in to help and how are they empowered?
Trusts are legal entities that own assets, and all trusts are not alike. They are created by a written trust document with certain provisions that can vary from trust to trust.
Estate planning documents often are treated like the photocopied permission slip for a child’s field trip. You fill in your name, include the children’s names and dates of birth and sign. The document is filed away to be used if needed, but you really never expect it to be used.
Thanks to the Internet, everyone has the ability to draft wills, trusts and a variety of other legal documents. Many documents can be produced for less than $100, requiring only a few mouse clicks and filled-in blanks.