A trust serves as a multipurpose tool when working on an estate plan. It can fund charities, create financial security for loved ones, help your beneficiaries avoid taxation and protect personal assets.
It can even go into effect while you are still alive which is referred to as a living trust. You establish a living trust in your lifetime and it goes into effect before your death. For example, parents may set up a trust as the trustees, with children listed as the beneficiaries. You can also elect trusted friends or even business professionals as the trustees.
You can have an irrevocable or revocable living trust. You cannot change an irrevocable trust in your lifetime, with a few rare exceptions. An irrevocable trust can help avoid estate taxes, but this lack of flexibility makes it a less popular option.
Revocable trusts are malleable, and you can make changes as needed. In addition, any property passed down through revocable trusts does not need to go through probate before the next beneficiary receives it, which serves as one of its primary points of attractiveness. Of course, each situation will require different means of handling, so you must decide what works best for you.
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