It seems like setting up a trust is becoming more and more popular here in the Raleigh, NC area. It can be a great addition to many estate plans and one that should be considered. When created correctly, it can be a key component to an estate plan, expanding the possibilities of what can be done beyond a simple will.

Here are four ways in which a trust can strengthen an estate plan:

  1. Tax benefits: Since a trust is a living legal entity, it’s not subject to an estate tax. This makes a trust a strong consideration for larger estates, although they can still be beneficial for smaller estates.
  2. Bypass probate: A trust is set up as a living document that seamlessly passes on to trustees. This makes it so there’s no need to go to probate – the process of proving an estate. Heirs are able to receive their inheritance with less issues.
  3. Privacy and protection: Because the estate (at least the part of an estate that’s in the trust) doesn’t go through the probate process, it’s never subject to court records. This makes it a more private process for the heirs and gives them better protection.
  4. Control of dissemination: With a trust, the originator has better control of how the estate is divided. We’ve all heard conditions attached to trust funds – not being able to access funds unless they have a college degree, or an annual payout instead of a lump sum, etc. This allows the originator to have more control over their legacy.

Each person’s estate is unique, so how an estate plan is created is unique as well. A trust is a great tool to possibly incorporate into your estate plan. Contact Thornton Law Firm to see if a trust is a good fit for your estate planning needs.