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4 Things Trusts Do That Wills Can’t

Posted by Dana Law Group on May 20, 2020

Most people are aware you need a will in order to ensure your estate is handled properly when you pass away. However, there are other options that may support your needs more effectively. For some people, having a trust instead of or in addition to a will can provide better protection. The following are several things a trust can do that a will can’t.

Avoid Probate

One of the biggest hassles for those who are left behind is waiting for probate to be completed in order to move forward with fulfilling the will. If you put in place a living trust, rather than a will, probate is not required. This elimiates the need for your family to go to court in order to get access to your assets and other belongings after you pass away. This can be extremely stressful for families who are already going through a difficult time. You can rest assured your assets will be divided among your family as you wish without the hassle of court.

Maintain Privacy

Probate, like many other court processes, are public record. This means just about anyone can access the information. If you want your estate matters to stay private, a trust can provide the protection you’re looking for. When you implement a trust, you skip the probate process and your family can grieve without being in the public eye. This also reduces the risk of scammers or those with fraudulent intentions from targeting your family due to the assets they have recently inherited.

Works When Incapacitated

A will is only carried out if you pass away. However, what happens to your assets if you ever become incapacitated and can’t make decisions on your own? A will won’t help in this situation. This is why it’s important to put together a trust, which can carry stipulations for how things are dealt with if you ever do find yourself in this situation. A trust appoints a guardian to take care of your assets while you can’t, allowing them to make important decisions in your stead. This ensure someone of your choosing is in charge of your estate, rather than leaving things in the hands of a judge, who may not make the same kind of decision you would.

Greater Control Over Your Asset Division

You may think anything is possible when it comes to placing asset division guidelines into your will. While this is true, everything is at the discretion of the court through the probate process. When you create a living trust instead, you will have much greater flexiblity in how your assets are divided. In addition to dictating who will receive certain assets or amounts, you can add stipulations for how and when individuals will qualify for the money. For instance, if you pass away while your child is still a minor, you can dictate the money will go into a trust to be used by your child’s guardian to help pay for expenses while raising the child, but once the child reaches adulthood, remaining assets transfer to them. You could also stipulate your child reaches a certain age or fulfills certain goals, such as graduating with a degree, in order to receive their inheritance.