Trusts offer people in Missouri a great deal of flexibility when putting together their estate plans. Although a will can achieve many goals, a trust can be used to establish final wishes beyond what a will can legally accomplish. Trusts, in their various forms, can benefit individuals and families by providing control and privacy.
The desire for control sometimes arises when a person wants to avoid giving a large inheritance to a young person as a lump sum. Concerns that a youthful heir might waste an estate prompt the creation of a distribution schedule within a trust. By using a trust, distributions of assets can be controlled over time. For example, an heir might not receive funds until reaching a specified age or achieving a certain milestone.
Privacy also plays a role in the choice to use a trust. Trusts do not have to be overseen by a probate court. A will, however, must be validated by a probate court. This process enters the terms of the will into public record. If the private details of an individual’s assets are addressed within a trust instead of the will, then the public does not have access to the information.
A person interested in learning more about trusts may want to meet with an attorney who has estate planning attorney. An attorney can design a trust to accomplish a variety of goals, such as limiting exposure to taxes, providing for a special needs child or defining a distribution schedule for assets. Other elements of estate planning could also be addressed by the attorney. This could include advice about making an advanced medical directive or naming a trusted individual as attorney-in-fact under a power of attorney.
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