Understanding the truth about trusts

There is no question that estate planning is typically not an easy topic for most people to consider. This is largely because most people are either uncomfortable with the notion of addressing their own mortality, or feel that such measures are unnecessary given what they view as their limited assets and relatively good health.

While many people who fall into this category eventually come around and understand the value in executing a comprehensive estate plan, they may nevertheless automatically dismiss the idea of executing a trust.

Here, this offhanded rejection likely stems from the longstanding belief that trusts are far too complex, and reserved for those with considerable assets and/or substantial income.

While it's understandable why a person might think this, the truth is that trusts can prove to a viable estate planning option for those from all walks of life.

Indeed, execution of a trust not only ensures that a person's exact wishes will be honored upon their passing, but also that their privacy will be protected given that the probate process can be avoided altogether.

Furthermore, a trust can promote family harmony, present certain tax advantages and provide considerable flexibility.

To illustrate, consider the revocable trust, sometimes referred to as a living trust. This legal instrument enables its creator -- the trustor -- to exercise control over his or her assets during their entire lifetime, and establish express instructions to the person in charge of managing and distributing trust assets to beneficiaries -- the trustee -- upon their demise.

To learn more about trusts and other estate planning options, consider speaking with an experienced legal professional. 

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