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What Are the Benefits of Using a Trust? 

Stern & Mauck, LLC. Oct. 18, 2022

When creating an estate plan, you may want to include a trust. A trust is great legal tool that is available for a wide range of incomes. Trusts can help you plan for how your estate’s property and wealth will be distributed, whether to individuals or organizations. 

Benefits of a trust include: 

  • Probate avoidance. Probate is a court proceeding that can be lengthy and costly. But you can avoid it through the use of one or more trusts. 

  • Control over disbursement. A trust can reduce the potential for a beneficiary to erode his or her inheritance as a result of poor financial decisions. For example, a spendthrift trust can provide financial support for the beneficiary, but prohibit the beneficiary from selling his or her interest in the trust funds and the trust can shield the funds from a beneficiary’s creditors. You can also make the disbursement of funds contingent on the beneficiary’s achieving certain goals, such as graduation.  

  • Special Needs Planning. For beneficiaries who have special needs, a trust can allow them to receive their inheritance from your estate without barring them from receiving government assistance. 

  • Long-term Care and Medicaid Planning. For individuals who may need long-term care, a trust may be used to protect assets from Medicaid and ensure you do not go broke in a nursing home.  

  • Asset Protection. If assets need to be protected from creditors, an asset protection trust can provide a shield from creditors.  

Trusts are just one part of a comprehensive estate plan, which should include other elements such as a Health Care Power of Attorney and Living Will. Our experienced attorneys would be happy to help you determine which estate planning elements are right for you!