Taking care of your family when you’re no longer around can be difficult, and sometimes a will isn’t enough to cut it. Some parts of estate planning may seem like they’re out of your league, but you might be surprised how much they could help.
Nearly half of all Americans believe that trusts are only for the wealthy – and that they don’t meet that standard. But trusts aren’t all about controlling huge sums of money. Rather, it’s all about maintaining control for the sake of your family.
A trust can help you help your family in plenty of ways:
- Preservation: One big focus of a trust is to keep your assets intact. The probate process can be brutal. Property you leave behind might get stripped down before your family ever sees it. Since a trust is a legal entity on its own, the trust lives on and could avoid estate taxes and creditors along the way.
- Care: If you have family members who can’t manage money on their own, then a trust could care for them over time. A lump sum might spell trouble for a young child who isn’t mature enough to handle money or a relative with special needs who would be at risk of losing government benefits.
- Secrecy: While the probate process is often public record, a trust can sidestep this process altogether. That means that what you’re passing on to your family could stay away from prying eyes.
Helping your family could start with casting aside notions about trusts. They can help families big, small and however you define yours. The process begins with understanding what a trust can do for you, and then you can start preparing for your family’s future.