By Julie Landry Laviolette – The Miami Herald
It’s not only heiresses and socialites who can benefit from a trust. Used in the right circumstances, a trust can be a helpful estate planning tool to pass assets to your children, take care of your affairs if you are incapacitated, or dole out your wealth — whatever its size — in a certain way.
“The first objection we always get is ‘I’m not rich, I don’t need that,’ ” said Debra Gauthier, a trust officer and certified financial planner at Wells Fargo Private Bank in Miami.
“Most people don’t understand estate planning, until their parents die and they see how complicated it can be,” she said. “It is necessary to do some planning before that happens.”
Trusts can be part of a simple estate plan that includes a will, power of attorney and living will.
But people don’t like to think about mortality, Gauthier said, and they don’t know the benefits of trusts, which can be complex.
“They really don’t understand that it makes the administration of your assets simpler — to transition wealth to your family, and to take care of you if you become incapacitated,” she said.
Deciding whether you need a trust or not can be confusing. What is a trust? It is a legal entity that allows you to put conditions on how your assets are distributed after you die. It can help minimize estate taxes and avoid probate. It can also be used to protect an heir’s assets from creditors.
Have questions to ask about setting up a trust? Contact a Heritage Living Trust representatives today:
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