Do you consider trusts to be instruments of the wealthy? While it is true that many Americans of means have trusts to protect and pass their wealth, there are a number of reasons why trusts can also be useful for middle-class families.
Here are 7 of them:
- Control distribution of assets. You wouldn’t hand over your car keys to a child who has had no proper preparation for driving, and chances are you would not want to hand over all your assets to a teenager either. But if both parents die at the same time, the children would inherit all the assets upon their 18th birthdays. A trust allows you to specify how and when you want your children to inherit.
- Protect assets from creditors. Placing an inheritance in a trust ensures that those assets are protected from your heir’s — or their spouse’s – creditors.
- Protect inheritance from spendthrift heirs. Not everyone is good with money. If your heirs fall into that category, you can use a trust to ensure the assets are not frittered away due to spendthrift behavior.
- Protect inheritance for children of prior marriage. You can use a trust to both provide for your current spouse and any children from a previous marriage.
- Provide for a special needs heir. Leaving assets outright to an heir with special needs could disqualify them from receiving important government benefits. Leaving those assets in trust bypasses this potential risk.
- Avoid probate. Assets can pass to heirs without going through probate by using a trust, saving beneficiaries the time and expense of the probate process. Probate is an expensive, public and unnecessary court process you can keep your family from having to deal with.
- Protect privacy. Once a will is entered into probate, it becomes public; a trust is a private document that will protect your family’s privacy.
While I think Trusts are the best thing since sliced bread, they are wildly misunderstood and underrepresented in the eyes of the public. I’m hoping to change that. That’s why I have my free educational seminars designed to give space for asking questions – demystifying this estate planning process. If you have questions, feel free to call my office and I’ll be glad to chat with you about this! You can contact me at Pierchoski Estate Law by calling 931.363.7222.
A Note from the Attorney, Stan Pierchoski:
The practice of law is a second career for me. After obtaining Master of Science degrees in both Nuclear and Mechanical Engineering, I worked in the Nuclear Power Industry for 15 years. Always having an interest in law, I attended and graduated from law school and founded the Pierchoski Law Firm in 2002 in Pulaski, TN. For several years I practiced as a criminal defense, trial attorney. After my parents passed I became interested in Trust and Estate Law and felt a strong calling to change my practice to the Estate Planning area.
For years I have been exclusively doing trust writing and wealth planning and have become proficient at it. Over the last several years my practice has evolved to serve all age groups including elders and Medicaid Planning. I am always open to your questions and am more than happy to chat with you about your concerns so give me a call or stop by my office. You’ll be glad you did!