What Can a Trust Do That a Will Cannot?

Posted by Martin Heller Potempa & Sheppard, PLLC on May 18, 2022

Most adults have been told at some point that they need to have a will. However, not many people realize that they might also benefit from a trust. These can sometimes be thought of as being only necessary for those with large estates, but this isn’t necessarily true. There are many occasions where a trust can be more beneficial than only having a will to distribute assets. Trusts and wills can both achieve certain things that the other cannot, so, depending on your situation, you may need both in your estate plans. 

Here are a few benefits of a trust that you can’t get with a will.

Trusts Avoid Probate

Having a will can help you avoid having your assets go through probate after your death. There are a few different reasons why someone might want to avoid the probate process. One important reason many people want to avoid probate is how long this process can take. In some cases, this can last for well over a year. Having a trust means that your loved ones will receive their inheritance faster and with less hassle. Avoiding probate also helps keep your information private. If there are any concerns over privacy, a trust may be the right route for you. Probate fees can diminish the assets you leave for your loved ones, which is another great reason to avoid this process.

Trusts Can Protect Your Beneficiary’s Inheritance

You’ve worked hard to provide for your loved ones during your lifetime and want to continue to after you pass. Unfortunately, there are several ways that an inheritance can be lost. Not only does this mean that the beneficiary will lose their inheritance, but it will also be lost to future generations who may have inherited family wealth. However, a trust can protect assets from many of the common ways that an inheritance can be diminished. You don’t want everything you worked for to go to waste or for your loved ones to lose their financial security, and a trust may help.

Trusts Give You More Control Over Your Assets

Some might not have any concerns over what happens to their assets after they pass away, so long as they go to the right person. However, when you’re leaving someone a large inheritance, there may be concerns over how it will be spent. While you want to provide for a loved one, you also want to ensure it’s spent responsibly, which isn’t always guaranteed. Trusts make it easy for you to set stipulations and guidelines on how the money is to be spent. For example, you may require it to go to a person’s education. If you want to increase the amount of control you have over your assets, consider a trust. 

Trusts are Better for Minors and Loved Ones With Special Needs

For those with a minor child or who care for a loved one with special needs, a trust may make it easier to leave an inheritance. A minor’s trust is a special type of trust meant specifically to hold assets for a minor child. This will become available to them when they reach a certain age and come with tax benefits that other trusts don’t. A special needs trust is another special type of trust for those with disabilities. Leaving an inheritance may make individuals with disabilities ineligible to receive government benefits such as Medicaid, but a special needs trust works around this to ensure they can still receive these vital services.

Find Out if Your Estate Plans Need Trust

Trusts have many important benefits, but not everyone needs one. Everyone’s situation is different, so what their estate plans require may vary. You want to feel confident that your estate plans contain everything you need to distribute and protect your assets the way you want, but knowing what’s best can be extremely complicated. At Martin Heller Potempa & Sheppard, PLLC, our experienced estate planning attorneys can work with you to ensure you have the proper plans in place.

Contact us today to find out if you need a trust for your estate plans.

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