The transfer of assets to your loved ones after you pass away can be a challenging undertaking if you don’t take the steps now to make it easier. One of the things that you can do is to establish trusts that enable your loved ones to inherit what you intend for them to have without them having to go through an arduous probate process.
When you establish a trust, it’s a good idea to review the purpose of it with your attorney. The information you provide will help the attorney recommend which options may best serve that purpose. For example, if you want to support a loved one who receives needs-based assistance, a special needs trust might be appropriate so that their inheritance doesn’t disqualify them from the benefits they need.
One consideration that comes into the picture is whether you need to establish a revocable or an irrevocable trust. The difference between these is that you can change the terms of the revocable trust, but you can’t alter anything about an irrevocable trust.
The irrevocable trust also comes with a vital protection for some people. When you put assets into this type of trust, your creditors can’t touch them. This means that even if you have debts, your loved ones will still receive what you wanted them to. An irrevocable trust may also help to reduce the value of the estate, which can help out with gift or estate tax liability.
Discussing your wishes for your estate with your attorney can help you develop a comprehensive estate plan that accurately and legally provides your loved ones with a roadmap for what you intend to bequeath them after you’re gone.