The uses of a trust in an estate plan

On Behalf of | Apr 5, 2017 | Estate Planning

Some Nevada residents might wonder whether they need a trust as part of their estate plan. The most useful type of trust for many people is a revocable living trust. This is a trust that is created during a person’s lifetime, and it can be changed while the person is still alive.

A trust has three main elements. The grantor establishes it, the trustee is the person who controls the trust, and there might be more than one. The beneficiaries are the people who will receive the assets in the trust. A trust also has instructions about how the assets will be distributed. Putting the assets in the trust, also known as funding the trust, is an important step.

The instructions can be customized. For example, if there are minor children, assets may be placed in the trust to be kept safe for as long as they are minors. A trust can also be set up so that adult children may access the money in the trust at certain ages, or there might be different rules for different beneficiaries. A trust can also be set up to protect a beneficiary’s assets from spouses in the event of a divorce or from creditors.

There are other uses for a trust as well. For example, a special needs trust is one way that family members can receive money if they are disabled without their disability benefits being affected. A charitable trust allows donations to go to a charity. An estate plan also has other elements. One of those is preparing in case a person becomes incapacitated a power of attorney that appoints someone to handle financial matters and a living will that outlines a person’s wishes for end-of-life care. An attorney may be able to assist with these documents and other aspects of estate planning.