A trust is a good estate planning tool. However, it is not necessarily for everyone and every plan.
Despite extensive advertising by non-attorneys selling trusts, the real fact is that not everyone needs one. If they do need a trust, there are many important decisions that need to be made to avoid a disaster. There are times when trusts are the best option, according to the Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog discusses in “Estate Planning, Is a Trust Beneficial?“.
Sometimes a trust is not a necessity, because in certain states the process of going through probate for relatively small estates is inexpensive and easy. Therefore, there is no reason to avoid probate with a trust. Another potential problem with trusts is that choosing the wrong person as a trustee can result in a disaster difficult to fix.
Situations where a trust is a good idea include when you have a blended family and want to leave assets for your spouse, while making sure that your children from a previous marriage will still have something to inherit. Another reason a trust might be a good choice is if your intended beneficiary is not responsible enough to handle money or has a lot of creditors. Trusts can also be used to help with estate tax issues.
An estate planning attorney can advise you on when a trust is right for you and when it may not be necessary.
Reference: Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog (March 28, 2018) “Estate Planning, Is a Trust Beneficial?”