A will is one of the most basic estate planning documents, and everyone should have one to make sure that there is no question about what would happen to your assets and kids if something happens to you. But there are important reasons why having a trust in addition to a will is critical and make things so much easier for you and your family.
Here are the top 6 reasons why a trust is better than a will:
A trust allows your family to avoid probate
A properly funded trust will bypass the Probate Court, saving the people you love time and money. To carry out your instructions in your will, a formal probate proceeding must be opened and that means your family will be stuck dealing with the Court if you get hospitalized or after you die.
A trust can protect a person with special needs
If you have a child or another dependent with special needs, a trust commonly known as a Special Needs Trust can hold assets for their benefit without jeopardizing their eligibility for government benefits. Although a will allows you to transfer assets to an individual with special needs, a will cannot provide the same protection for those assets.
A trust will maintain your privacy
Since a will is subject to a formal probate proceeding, it becomes a matter of public record – anyone can discover the asset you are leaving behind and who is getting those assets. A trust does not get filed in a public forum and will always be private.
A trust can protect blended families
If you are in a 2nd marriage of are part of a blended family, a trust can give you the flexibility you need to make sure that your children from prior marriages will be provided for in the way you want.
A trust can hold out-of-state property
If you own property in another state besides Massachusetts, you can more easily transfer ownership via a trust than a will. Transferring out-of-state property in a will usually means additional legal expenses because your family will have to open probate proceedings in multiple states – a time consuming and expensive process.
A trust can provide asset protection to your family
If you want to protect the assets you leave to your spouse and children from later creditors, lawsuits and divorce, a trust is the best way to accomplish that. It’s a gift you can give to your loved ones that they could not easily (or at all) give themselves.
If you would like to learn more about how having a trust can make things as easy as possible for the people you love the most, call Lori Darling, our Client Services Coordinator, today (978) 263-6900 – she will get you all set up.