The advantages of using a trust in your estate plan can be substantial, depending on your circumstances and needs. In some cases, however, a trust is perhaps not the best strategy to use in your estate plan. Every situation is different, so you should consult with an experienced Michigan estate planning attorney about all of your options in order to make the most informed decisions about what to include in your estate plan.
A trust is an estate planning document that allows you to appoint a trustee, who will hold the assets in the trust for the beneficiaries whom you have chosen to receive the assets. When you create a trust, you also get to designate how the trustee must protect, invest, and distribute your assets, according to your specific instructions. There are many different types of trusts that may be advantageous to you, depending on your circumstances.
One of the biggest advantages of trusts is that your assets can pass directly to your beneficiaries without your estate going through probate, which can be a lengthy and expensive process. You can place all of your assets in the trust and leave instructions for when, how, and to whom assets should be distributed.
Another advantage to using a trust is privacy. Probate proceedings are public records, and if your heirs must admit your will to probate, anyone will be free to read your will and get information about your assets. On the other hand, if you use a trust as opposed to a will for the distribution of your assets, there will be no public filing in probate court. Rather, the trustee you have appointed will simply distribute your assets according to your instructions, without any knowledge of the public. Finally, a trust can allow you to engage in tax planning, which can result in fewer assets being paid in taxes and more assets being transferred to your beneficiaries.
No matter what type of legal documents are appropriate for your individualized estate plan, Legacy Law Center is here to help. We advise clients about estate planning on a daily basis. Our goal is to determine what options are available to you so that you can make the estate planning decisions that are best for you and your family. No matter how far away long-term care seems, it is important that you take the first step and call our office today to set up a meeting time with one of our Michigan elder law attorneys.
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