There are a variety of ways to approach an estate plan. Depending on your goals, either a will or trust, and in some cases both options, structure the division of your assets according to a predetermined set of directives you can establish well before the end of your life.
Trusts can provide some leeway when it comes to the distribution of your estate. In order to file a trust as part of your estate plan, you will need a few basic components.
It takes more than just a single written document to solidify and establish a trust. The structure of every trust must include the following features:
- Property for distribution, including real estate, vehicles or financial assets
- A beneficiary who is to receive property and assets
- A trustor or grantor to create the trust
- A trustee or fiduciary to manage the agreements
Trusts can allow you to maintain ownership of your estate and allow your loved ones to avoid the costly and time-consuming probate process after your death.
Different types of trusts suit different estate circumstances, and whether you decide to establish a revocable, irrevocable, inter-vivos or testamentary trust is a big decision. These agreements can take time and effort to set up, but uniquely protect your estate and make asset division a smoother and more straightforward process than several other estate plan options.
After it is set up, a trust acts as its own entity. It is important to take time to discuss your objectives and appoint the right persons to carry out the process as you draft a trust agreement.