Establishing a trust doesn’t have to be a confusing or convoluted process if you ask the right questions. Getting your hands on the relevant information will not only clear up any confusion you may have about the process but will also leave you feeling confident that your trust is set up in a way that matches your wishes and your goals.
Here are three questions we recommend considering as you get started.
What kind of trust will best fulfill my needs?
Trusts are not one-size-fits-all, they each have their advantages and disadvantages. Your goals will determine which kind of trust will best serve you. There are several varieties of trusts, but the most common options for consideration are Living, Testamentary, Revocable, and Irrevocable Trusts.
A Living Trust is a trust that is established while you are still living. A common benefit of this trust is that it avoids probate, allowing the assets protected by the trust to be transferred directly to their assigned beneficiaries.
Unlike Living Trusts, Testamentary Trusts are established after your death. This allows for a bit more flexibility in establishing the terms of the trust, which can be changed up to the time of your death. Due to the fact that this trust is being established after your death, it will not grant you the opportunity to avoid probate and will force your estate to be distributed through the courts.
A Revocable Trust grants you the ability to alter your trust during your lifetime. So, if your goals change or an incident occurs that requires you to alter your original plans, your trust will now be capable of reflecting this shift. Similar to a Living Trust, this is an effective option if you’re looking to avoid probate.
An Irrevocable Trust does not allow any alterations of the terms once the trust has been created. A benefit of this trust is that it allows the creator to limit estate taxes after their passing.
Ultimately, the best way to determine which trust will work best for you and aligns with your unique set of goals is to do your own research and discuss your options with a wealth consultant.
What assets can or should I put into my trust?
The assets you can place in a trust can vary, offering you a wide range of options to build your estate. Assets to consider:
- Insurance policies
- Financial accounts
- Real estate
- Limited liability companies
- Personal property
- And more!
Trusts are relatively flexible when it comes to the assets they can protect. If there is an asset you’re considering and would like to confirm its benefit within your trust, you can always ask your wealth consultant for more information.
Who should I appoint as a trustee?
Appointing a trustee is an important decision since they will be charged with executing your wishes after your passing and ensuring that your trust’s assets are being efficiently distributed to your assigned beneficiaries. Whoever you assign as your trustee needs to be someone you can trust to not only respect your wishes but also remain impartial when distributing assets to your beneficiaries.
It’s easy to consider close friends and relatives, but before you assign anyone as your trustee, consider if any of your candidates possess these qualities:
A trustee has many duties and responsibilities to fulfill, so it’s important to select someone you can trust to fulfill their role while also honoring your wishes. When you’re ready to start considering who to appoint as your trustee, we can help you navigate through the selection process.
We’re Here to Guide You
We know this gives you a lot to consider, but we are here to help you through every step of this process. When you’re ready to get started, schedule a consultation with one of our Wealth Consultants and we’ll help you set up your trust the way you want it.