Life is constantly changing. It is unpredictable and, too often, uncontrollable. Despite this, you still have power. You can plan for change.
A legal way to do this is to create a living trust, a document that protects and controls your assets. Its terms remain effective even if you become disabled or can no longer manage them yourself.
A living trust is similar to a will in that it controls how your estate is distributed. Like a will, it determines who receives your assets when you die. However, a living trust is different from a will in important ways. Unlike a will, a living trust can become active at any time, as long as certain conditions are met, and it does not contain every kind of asset.
A significant range of people can benefit from having living trusts. A living trust is useful if you have children to care for, who are too young to manage money. Naming them as beneficiaries allows their inheritance to pass to them once they reach adulthood.
Until then, a trustee can manage the living trust funds. You can appoint him to assist your children in making wise financial decisions until they reach an age when they are capable of making sound financial decisions on their own.
You can also create a living trust to protect a spouse or a vulnerable elderly relative, but the purposes of trusts vary. You may prefer sharing your assets with a charity or even creating a trust for unborn children.
Married individuals sometimes use a trust to protect their assets in case of a divorce. Often, parents use a trust to protect family assets in case of divorce by their children.
Legally, this makes sense. Divorces are commonplace and usually result in a division of assets, which can become legally and emotionally complicated. No newly married couple wants to admit the possibility of divorce, but when it occurs, it can be devastating; having a living trust in place limits the loss of valuable assets.
Parents are usually more lucid about the possibility of divorce than their children are and create trusts before their children marry to prevent the loss of wealth in case the marriage fails.
Relatives are not the only ones you can name as beneficiaries. You can name yourself for this role. You may have real estate property you want to keep, but the effort and time needed to maintain have become excessive. Appointing a trustee to do the job liberates you from this burden.
However, a living trust is not for everyone. Unless your assets are significant, a trust is not going to benefit you – especially since it can be costly to maintain.
On the other hand, the greater your assets are, the greater your need for a trust.
If your assets are significant and you are concerned about how they will be spent or handled in the future, contact the Law Office of Richard Nevins to speak to a qualified, experienced attorney who deals with trusts everyday. We will provide expert legal counsel and draft a trust suited to your individual needs and situation. Call to set up an appointment and fill out the form. Your information will help us to guide you toward the best solution.