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One the most common questions I get from potential clients is “Do I need a Trust?”. The conversation often starts with I have a net worth of X, or I own xyz asset, so do I need a trust? And normally I give a typical lawyer answer of … it depends. Whether or not you need a trust depends on a number of factors. One important factor is whether creating a trust accomplish your estate planning goals. If it doesn’t, then you don’t have to create a trust. There might be advantages or benefits, but ultimately, your estate plan should accomplish your goals and you don’t need a trust if it does not fit your goals.
If you’re wondering why you might want to create a revocable trust, then below are 3 reasons:
1. A trust avoids probate. Any asset held in your trust will not go through probate because you transferred owneship from you individually to the trust during your lifetime. A trust is the best way to avoid probate.
2. You are able to control how and when your beneficiary receives the assets of the trust. This is often referred to as “controlling from the grave.” A trust provides you with a lot of flexibility in the distribution of the trust assets.
3. A trust is private. A trust does not be filed anywhere while you’re living or at your death. So if privacy is a goal, then you should create a trust.
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