Every person manages their finances and economic goals differently. What may be an important expense to one person may have no effect on someone else with similar assets and wealth. Protecting an individual's goals and assets is one of the most crucial things that a person can do, but what happens to all of it after a person passes away?
This is one critical question that people should ask themselves before developing an estate plan. By first determining what should be protected and how that can best be accomplished, a person can begin putting together a comprehensive and effective estate plan.
One solution that many people in Massachusetts consider is to set up a trust. There are a few areas that a person will want to think about before setting up a trust.
- Family Needs: Many people set up trusts for the benefit of family members. Young children and people with special needs are among those who are often protected by trusts. And in complex family structures, a trust can be a more controlled way of assigning assets.
- Professional Needs: Trusts can be very helpful when it comes to protecting business interests. Certain trusts can be set up to ensure that future generations will continue to operate a business, rather than another party.
- Economic Needs: Charitable causes and estate taxes can also be greatly affected by setting up a trust. People with substantial estates may want to avoid estate taxes and receive benefits, and setting up a trust may accomplish these goals.
- Personal Needs: Because living trusts do not go through the same probate process that wills go through, the information included in a trust is protected from being publicly released. Those who wish to keep their finances private may want to consider doing so by setting up a trust.
Keeping these things in mind can be very helpful for people who are thinking about how they can best protect their assets. It may also be a good idea to work through these complicated processes with an estate planning attorney.
Source: Forbes, "8 Ways To Benefit From A Trust," May 14, 2013