Many individuals associate estate planning with just a written last will and testament. While a will is essential to a viable estate plan, it should not be the only component. A basic estate plan should include several other legal documents, like a durable power of attorney or a living will. These supplementary documents can protect your interests if you become incapacitated and can also be used to establish a course of action for medical intervention. Most people do not prioritize estate planning because they do not know where to begin. At May, Rammell, & Wells, we help clients assemble the right legal documents to meet their estate planning needs.
Four Common Reasons to Add a Trust to Your Estate Plan
A basic estate plan is a critical component of every financial plan. Even if you don’t have considerable assets, don’t let the state decide what happens to your estate once you’re gone. Along with fundamental documents, many individuals choose to include one or multiple trusts in their estate plans. While everyone may not need to add a trust, there are many advantages that could help you better position your estate to pass along to your heirs.
Below, we’ll highlight four reasons a trust could serve as a powerful addition to any estate plan.
- Using a Trust to Avoid Probate: Many individuals incorporate a trust into their estate plan to avoid probate, which is required in Idaho when someone with real estate or an estate worth over $100,000 dies. By transferring their real estate and enough assets to the trust, they can avoid the probate process and have the trust control the distribution of their assets according to their specific instructions. While probate doesn’t have to be unaffordable and complicated, avoiding it could be as it simplifies asset transfer.
- Using a Trust to Avoid Estate Taxes: Individuals incorporate a trust in their estate plan to minimize estate taxes. This option is especially advantageous for wealthy individuals looking for a way to reduce the value of assets they possess at death. By transferring assets into one or more trusts, the assets are effectively removed from the decedent’s estate, reducing the estate's tax liability.
- Using a Trust to Provide for a Minor: Setting up a trust is common when leaving a portion of an estate to a minor under the age of 18. Many parents and relatives prefer that their assets not be given directly to someone so young. A testamentary trust can be created for minor beneficiaries, so inherited assets are managed by the trust for their benefit until a predetermined age. The trust can fund education expenses, help purchase a home or establish a business, and then distribute the remaining assets at specific ages according to the instructions provided.
- Using a Trust to Provide for a Disabled Person: Individuals with a disability or addiction may not be capable of handling inherited assets. Additionally, they may lose government assistance if the inheritance disqualifies them from the program's eligibility. To avoid these scenarios, a trust can be established that provides supplemental assistance while considering their disability, addiction, or other issues.
Schedule a Consultation at May, Rammell, and Wells to Secure Your Assets
At May, Rammell, and Wells, our seasoned estate planning attorneys have worked in Idaho for many years. We offer personalized solutions to fit your estate planning goals, whether complex or simple. The estate planning attorneys at our firm offer a comprehensive selection of services, including wills, trusts, powers of attorney, and probate and trust administration.
Don't put your assets and the future of your loved ones at risk. You can take control by contacting the estate planning attorneys at May, Rammell, and Wells today. Call us today at (208) 623-8021 to schedule a consultation.