Trusts are an important estate planning vehicle that shouldn't be as overlooked. Many believe that trusts are only for the wealthy; however, this misconception couldn't be further from the truth. In actuality, trusts are for everyone!
Why? Well, it's because they can provide important protections and controls, useful to just about everyone, that are not available with other estate planning documents. These include avoiding the probate process and controlling estate settlement costs, protection of heirs from potential creditors, and the ability to control the amount and purpose of money left to heirs, among other things. All potentially important components when it comes to fulfilling your wishes and providing the best possible situation for your heirs.
However, many people miss out on these benefits and leave heirs with headaches by not considering trusts as a part of their estate planning. Most of the time, the excuse is they believe they don't have enough money to justify a trust or that a trust will be too expensive. But typically, that's not the case, and the peace of mind that is provided with a trust far outweighs the initial cost (which in many instances are also less than expected).
Unfortunately, many attorneys don't take the time to educate their clients and change this mindset and instead provide the path of least resistance and use an off-the-shelf template to create a will and send them on their way, $1,000+ later. Don't let this happen to you! Make sure to inquire how a trust can enhance your estate plans and benefit your family's future. A good attorney will take the time to review trust options and customize your estate plan to best fit your situation.
We'd love to hear from you and provide more information on trusts, discuss how they should fit into your financial plans, and help you locate and work with a qualified estate planning attorney.
Mychal Eagleson, CFP®, AAMS® is the President of An Exceptional Life Financial, a firm that specializes in financial planning for teachers and families with special needs. He frequently writes and speaks on personal finance topics relating to these clients. Mychal also serves on the board of the Financial Planning Association of Greater Indiana as the Director of Public Relations & Social Media. To read more of his articles or learn about An Exceptional Life Financial please visit: www.anexceptionallifefinancial.com.