In addition to drafting a will, the attorneys at Granholm & Gynac can advise you on whether it makes sense to establish a trust as a part of your estate plan. Trusts can provide numerous benefits for an estate and usually make sense for individuals who own real estate or have significant other assets.
Here are a few of the benefits of utilizing a trust in your estate plan:
- Avoiding probate. A properly drafted trust will usually prevent the need for a probate estate after someone dies. Your heirs will be spared the time, cost and aggravation of needing to navigate a court case after you pass away.
- Unlike a will, which must be filed with the Circuit Clerk within thirty (30) days of someone passing away and which is a public record, the provisions of a trust are not required to be recorded and typically remain private. Only the potential beneficiaries or heirs of an estate usually have the right to review the language of someone’s trust.
- Control over funds after death. A trust can allow a decedent to have more control over how and when heirs receive funds after their death, such as by staggering payouts or attaching terms or conditions to the receipt of money by a beneficiary.
Most middle-class families will use what’s called a “Revocable Trust” as a cornerstone of their estate plan. Such trusts, which can be established individually or jointly with a spouse, allow for the terms of the trust to be amended during the lifetime of the grantors. Revocable trusts can also be dissolved completely prior to any of the grantors passing away.
Other types of trusts exist, which have more specialized uses such as to shelter assets from creditors or for tax planning. The attorneys at our firm would be happy to assess your current situation, walk you through options, and help you implement an estate plan that meets your family’s needs.