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Deciding whether a trust should be part of an estate plan

Nevada residents who have given any thought to their estate plan are probably aware that they need to have a will. A last will and testament is a basic estate planning document that everyone should have. Depending on the size of a person's estate and the needs of their beneficiaries, a trust may also be a key document to include in an estate plan.

Because a trust costs money to run, one of the first questions people should ask before setting up a trust is whether they have enough assets to justify those expenses. Another question they should ask is whether they would like to have more control over the assets in their estate plan. While a will simply names the beneficiaries of certain assets, a trust can disburse assets to beneficiaries incrementally or when specific financial needs arise.

Another way that a trust can improve an estate plan is by keeping it private. When a person dies with just a will, the estate will have to go through a probate process that is open for public scrutiny. A trust can allow the details of a beneficiary's inheritance to remain private, and that privacy is sometimes necessary for a beneficiary's security.

An estate planning attorney may be able to help an individual or couple to decide whether they should include a trust in their estate plan. Some of the factors that an attorney may consider are how complex the estate is and the number of beneficiaries that are going to be included in the will. If a person owns property in multiple states, for example, a trust could allow the property to be disbursed to beneficiaries without the need for multiple probate proceedings to take place.

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