Trusts: An Important Estate Planning Tool
Everyone should have a Will. A Will ensures that your assets pass at your death in accordance with your wishes. However, there are also reasons that you may want to consider a Trust. There are four primary reasons for having a Trust.
- Privacy. Assets that pass by Will must go through the Probate Court. This process is public record meaning that members of the public will know what assets you owned at the time of your death and the value of those assets, and the assets and the value of the assets that each of your heirs (spouse and/or children) received as a result of your death. Assets that are placed under a Trust are not public and therefore the public will not be privy to these assets or what your heirs received from the Trust.
- Convenience. Assets held in the Trust avoid the Probate process entirely. The Probate process can be time consuming due to procedures imposed by the Court and can also be expensive in terms of executor’s fees and attorney’s fees. Assets held in the Trust avoid the Probate process entirely.
- Asset Management and Control. A Trust gives you the ability to manage and control your assets during your life and after your death. During your life a Trust allows you to designate in advance how your assets are to be administered, and distributed, and by whom if you ever become mentally or physically unable to manage your own affairs. A Trust also provides you with the ability to manage and control your assets after your death. The ability to manage and control assets after death can be important to provide for, and protect the interests of, a spouse, children and grandchildren. This is particularly important with respect to a second marriage, minor children, and protecting the assets from adult children who may not be ready to handle a large lump sum of money. A Trust can also be used to assure that your children are protected in the event the surviving spouse remarries.
- Taxes. Ohio does not have an estate tax. However, high net worth individuals, those with assets in access of $5,340,000.00, are subject to Federal estate tax. If you are fortunate enough to be such a high net worth individual then a Trust is one of the means that you can use to reduce the impact of Federal estate taxes on your estate.
The estate planning attorneys at Williams, Kratcoski & Can have helped numerous clients with Trusts. It is important that you work with an experienced estate planning attorney to help you understand the legal and practical aspect of Trusts and the many provisions that may be included in a Trust. The estate planning attorneys at Williams, Kratcoski & Can will help guide you through legal and practical aspects of a Trust. Please feel free to call us at 330-673-3444 to schedule an initial consultation. We understand that everyone is busy, so weekend and evening appointments are available by request.