As many Nevada residents may know, structuring an estate might not be simple. One of the most important considerations is whether to establish a trust in addition to a will. For some, a trust may be a good option.
Having a trust may spare the beneficiaries the nuisances associated with the probate process. For example, the assets in the will are publicly accessible because it is reviewed by the courts. It may also cause problems among heirs since they may disagree about another heir’s legacy. This may result in family disagreements and legal issues.
Another problem with probate is cost. Depending on the state, the amount the estate will pay to cover probate fees may be daunting. In some cases, the fee is based on the estate’s size. Checking into the cost before deciding whether to use a trust to supplement a will may be beneficial.
There are ways to reduce the cost of probate. Simplified probate is useful for estates under a certain amount. Another option is designating estate items to be transferred directly to a beneficiary upon the owner’s death. In some states, bank accounts, vehicles and real estate may be turned over to a beneficiary without court supervision. All the heir needs to do is present a death certificate along with identification to initiate transfer.
There are instances when a trust is preferable. A special needs trust centers on making sure that a child or adult who is unable to care for himself or herself has support after their caretaker dies. In addition, direct inheritance may interfere with funds they are able to procure from the government.
An attorney may be able to add insight to the options available for inheritance and the rationale behind the establishment of a trust in addition to a will. If an estate is subject to taxes, the attorney may help by devising an appropriate strategy.
Source: Forbes, “Should You Have A Trust?“, Erik Carter , September 12, 2014