Trusts – Not just for the Wealthy

Does the notion of a Trust make you think about people like Bill Gates or the Rockefellers? I know that’s what I used to think.

However, I have since come to the realization that a Trust does not need to be so complicated (and expensive). A Trust is a great tool for anyone who’s “estate” is worth $100,000 or more – and when you consider your house, life insurance and/or retirement accounts, your “estate” may very likely be worth $100,000 or more.

A basic Trust can help you accomplish a few simple, yet important, goals. It allows you to:

  • Control the disposition of your assets after your death (age restrictions, health and education distributions, etc.);
  • Avoid probate (if properly funded) and efficiently and privately distribute your assets;
  • Better protect assets from creditors and lawsuits; and
  • Name people you trust to manage and distribute assets during your life (if you become unable to do so) and upon your death.

So, before you write Trusts off a a tool reserved for the wealthy, consider the points above as you put together an estate plan to take care of your family and distribute your assets.

For more information, you might want to check out this article on CNN Money, it does a nice job discussing the advantages of a Trust and the basic kinds of Trusts out there.