Property owners, especially those that hold assets internationally, could benefit from having a trust. Parents or grandparents might also want to create a trust to ensure that assets are transferred to their children or grandchildren in a timely and responsible manner. This is partially because a trust will generally not need to go through the probate process. In addition to the time and money spent in probate, documents submitted to a court are available to the public.
Therefore, anyone who is interested in learning more about a deceased person’s finances can look at that individual’s will. Furthermore, an interested party could learn details about a deceased person’s family that he or she may prefer to remain a secret. Avoiding probate means that a family can guard its privacy while also protecting assets from creditor claims. Generally speaking, assets in a trust cannot be seized by creditors or taken in a divorce.
Keeping assets out of the hands of creditors and others means that a family gets to keep more of its wealth. As the terms of a trust can be as specific as a person wants them to be, it can dictate how beneficiaries use the money that they inherit. This can protect them from their own bad habits or from receiving money before they are mature enough to manage it.
Attorneys may be able to provide estate planning advice that may help a clients meet their needs now and in the future. For instance, an attorney might explain how a trust could help people keep some or all assets outside of their estate. This may make it possible to avoid probate, which could make it easier to administer an estate in a timely manner.