As Georgia’s population ages, estate planning becomes a valid concern for many families. There are a number of items to consider, such as long term health care, wills, probate, estate taxes and trusts. Many individuals are discovering that their estates are best protected through trust administration.
Trusts can be set up in many different ways. One option is to set up a living trust. With a living trust, assets are placed in the trust for the benefit of the individual. The individual still has access to these assets and can use them throughout his or her lifetime. Then, upon death, assets in the trust can transfer to named beneficiaries.
Other types of trusts can be established based upon anticipated needs. For example, a trust can be established to be used strictly for educational expenses. Or, it is possible that a trust can be created to be paid to the beneficiaries once they reach a specified age. Yet another possibility is that the individual may not wish to leave assets to heirs but instead donate to charities. This can also be done through a trust.
Perhaps one of the primary reasons for establishing a trust is to protect assets and avoid the probate process. While wills must go through the probate courts, trusts automatically transfer to the beneficiaries. This saves both time and money.
There are numerous legal details to be considered when establishing a trust. Beneficiaries will need to be named and any stipulations on the receipt of assets must be properly established. For this reason, it is often best for Georgia residents to work with an attorney experienced in trust administration.
Source: CNBC, “Preparing for the $30 trillion great wealth transfer“, Anna Robaton, Nov. 30, 2016