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Common misconceptions about trusts

A trust may be used to help protect a Nevada resident's assets as well as provide a degree of privacy after the grantor dies. Unlike a will, the use of a trust helps to avoid expensive and public probate proceedings. However, many people think that such an estate planning document is too expensive to create or is only for people who have large estates.

In fact, a trust can be created by anyone who has any assets that he or she would like to pass on. While normally properties that are being transferred to a trust have to be retitled to reflect the new form of ownership, in many cases the beneficiary designations of financial assets can be easily changed to make the trust the beneficiary upon the owner's death . This provides an easy way for those who have created a trust to eventually fund it without having to take any action when the trust is created. It also effectively debunks the myth that trusts are too expensive to create or too hard to maintain.

Trusts may also be effective tools for those who are still living. A person who creates a trust may create directives for both their health care and their finances. These directives enable the owner to have the trustee make those decisions in the event of incapacity.

There are a variety of trusts that may be created to prepare for a variety of scenarios. It is possible to create a family trust to provide for future generations or a charitable trust to help a favored cause for years to come. The advice and counsel of an estate planning attorney is invaluable in this regard.

Source: Daily Finance, "3 Myths About Trusts That You Can't Afford to Believe", Dan Caplinger, September 20, 2014

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