Thinking about your eventual death may be uncomfortable, but it is often important in order to ensure that your wishes are carried out correctly and your family is provided for. As you consider your estate plan, you may be aware of the importance of a will, which can clarify your wishes involving the distribution of your assets. However, you should also consider the benefits of establishing a trust to provide additional protection. An experienced family law attorney can help you draft an estate plan to fit your unique situation.
A trust offers many benefits when compared to simply specifying the distribution of assets in your will. These benefits include:
Providing for yourself and your family: Even before your death, you can establish a living trust that ensures you have funds allocated to pay for health and living expenses in your old age. You can also designate beneficiaries of your living trust who will receive the funds in the event of your death.
Avoiding probate: Upon your death, the terms of your will must be administered by your chosen executor through the process of probate, which can sometimes be complicated and take a significant amount of time to complete. However, trusts do not have to go through the probate process, because you have already designated exactly how the funds will be distributed.
Avoiding estate taxes: If your estate is valued above a certain threshold, you will typically incur a significant estate tax at the time of your death. However, assets placed in irrevocable trusts before your death are usually not subject to estate taxes, which allows your beneficiaries access to a greater percentage of your assets.
Ensuring the desired use of your assets: When you establish a trust, you can specify how the funds should be used and when they will be distributed. This gives you greater control over your assets even after your death. For example, you can establish a charitable trust that ensures your assets will be distributed to a charitable cause of your choice upon your death.
When you understand all of the options available to you, you can create an estate plan that ensures your funds are protected and used for their intended purpose. At SBK Law Group, we bring over 25 years of combined legal experience to help our clients with establishing trusts and other important estate planning needs. Request a free consultation when you call our knowledgeable DuPage County estate planning lawyers today at 630-427-4407.