Trusts serve a variety of purposes. They are legal arrangements that provide for the transfer of assets from their owner (“grantor or trustor)” to a trustee. They set the terms for the trustee’s management of the assets, for distributions to one or more designated beneficiaries, and for the ultimate disposition of the assets. The trustee is obligated to handle the trust assets in accordance with the terms of the trust document and solely in the best interests of the beneficiaries. Having a trust does not rule out the need for a will.
Trusts are not for everyone. Your circumstances and wishes dictate whether a will or a trust is best for you. They do have benefits over a will: assets may be distributed before a grantor’s death, probate is not required so the distribution of assets and the beneficiaries remain private, and the trustee can manage the trust in the event the grantor becomes mentally incapacitated.
Let the August National Make-a-Will Month inspire you to stop procrastinating. Having a will and/or trust gives you and your loved ones some peace of mind and certainty about how your affairs will be handled after you have died. The process of drafting a will early provides an opportunity to explore various estate planning tools to minimize estate taxes.
It is crucial for you to have important documents readily available. An organized estate can give you peace of mind and also make things easier for your family. The flyer “25 Estate Documents You Need to Put in One Place”
is a comprehensive list of items to keep together in a safe place.
Look for next week’s blog when we will discuss how to go about preparing a will and/or trust and things to consider when doing so.
Thank you for your continued support of the Sisters and their Mission of Charity.
The information provided in this blog is not intended as legal advice. Be sure to consult with your own attorney, accountant, or financial advisor before making any major financial decisions.