Could you benefit from adding a living trust to your estate plan?

You may be ready to create an estate plan in order to provide for your loved ones after your death and protect yourself in the event you become incapacitated. You probably think that all you will need is a last will and testament and some powers of attorney. While it is true that you probably need those documents, you may want to consider a trust as well.

Are you one of many Scottsdale residents who believes that only rich people, celebrities and professional athletes need trusts? After all, they have a great deal of wealth to protect, but you don't. In reality, you could benefit from a trust. For example, if you own a home, have a retirement plan and a savings account, you may want to make use of this estate-planning tool.

A living trust could prove useful to you

With this type of trust, you retain control over what happens to your assets during your life and after. You can specify what assets a beneficiary receives and when. For instance, if you don't want your child to inherit everything at once, you can instruct the trustee to distribute assets upon certain events, at a certain age or at certain intervals.

The assets in the trust could remain unreachable to creditors, ex-spouses and bankruptcies. This way, you or your beneficiaries can rest assured that they will have access to the assets once they resolve their issues. The property in the trust may also be safe from lawsuits.

The more decisions you make now when you are mentally and physically healthy, the better off you and your beneficiaries will be over time since you will have the opportunity to take your time and make the best choices possible for you and your loved ones.

Does this sound like something you could use?

If you are now rethinking the utility of a living trust, you probably aren't alone. Many other people were pleasantly surprised that they could make use of this estate-planning tool. Other than taking care of your family, another primary goal of this area of law is to protect your assets, perhaps reduce the tax liability of your estate, and provide you and your family with peace of mind.

You should also know that there is more than one type of living trust. Determining which one would work best in your circumstances requires understanding your needs and goals and pairing them with the appropriate type of trust. Theoretically, you could create your own trust, but any mistake could undo your hard work. The better course of action would be to sit down with an experienced attorney who can help you make the best choices for your situation.

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The Law Offices of Mary T. Hone, PLLC
10505 N. 69th Street, Suite 1400
Scottsdale, AZ 85253

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