Many people want to keep estate planning simple, affordable and fast. People find thinking about their own death unpleasant, so they rush through estate planning instead of giving it the attention that it truly deserves.
If you already have a last will, you are ahead of many adults who don’t have any estate planning documents in place. You may not think that adding a trust to the mix is necessary. However, people in complicated family situations often find that trusts are great estate planning tools. Why do families use trusts for estate planning?
They need to provide for a loved one with special needs
A large inheritance could be a problem for just about anyone. Those with special needs may not know how to handle inherited assets. They could also lose out on government benefits because of what a loved one leaves for them. A trust is a common tool used by parents who want to continue supporting a child with special needs after their death.
They want to disinherit someone or limit the use of assets
When there is one person in the family who has problems, other family members might choose to disinherit that person so that they don’t support their addiction, and gambling or other bad habits. A trust can be beneficial for those who disinherit someone because they are harder to challenge than standard last wills.
If a testator would rather leave benefits for a struggling loved one but restrict how they use them or how much they can withdraw at once, a trust can be useful for that purpose as well.
People also use trusts to leave money behind for charities, to take care of pets after they die, to qualify for benefits, to protect property from creditors and to avoid probate. Trusts are useful tools in many different situations, and, thankfully, it is never too late for someone to add one to their estate plan.