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Estate Planning and Trusts

Individuals in Massachusetts who are planning their estate may wish to consider the value of a trust. Trusts can be more flexible and useful for individuals with a variety of assets and needs than many people may realize.

Some individuals think trusts are only for wealthy individuals. However, individuals with assets at a variety of levels can benefit from a trust. Trusts can be set up to care for special needs family members or to distribute assets only at certain times. They are also less expensive than many people realize. Appointing a family member as trustee can keep costs down, but avoiding the cost of probate that happens with a will may also balance the cost of setting up a trust.

A trust can also be helpful while an individual is still alive. They can be designed to manage an individual’s assets and provide funds for health care if an individual becomes incapacitated.

Trusts are also less difficult to establish than many people think. While it is necessary to move assets into the trust, there are ways of making it less complex.

It is important that those assets are correctly moved into a trust, and in this case, an attorney might be helpful in ensuring that assets are correctly titled and the estate does not end up in probate. An attorney may be able to help with other aspects of estate planning depending on the needs of the individual doing the estate planning. For example, an individual may be concerned about heirs being financially irresponsible. As a result, that individual might want to set up a trust that only allows assets to be distributed to heirs in small amounts once per year.

Source: Daily Finance, “3 Myths About Trusts That You Can’t Afford to Believe“, Dan Caplinger, September 20, 2014

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