Where trusts fit in estate planning

A will is a very important estate planning document that virtually every adult in Lake Charles should have. But what about trusts? People often think that a will is enough to meet their needs and not give estate planning another thought. Here are some benefits people miss out on when they choose to not use trusts.

Wills have to go through a legal process called probate before any assets can be distributed to heirs. A person's will should dictate how those assets are ultimately distributed, but there are certainly exceptions to this. For example, a loved one might challenge the will. In some situations the court might even make decisions at its own discretion. On top of these challenges, probate is also time-consuming and can be very costly.

On the other hand, trusts skip the probate process altogether. Putting assets into something like a revocable living trust also gives someone even more control over how his or her assets are handled. Someone might choose for assets to distribute to heirs right away, or opt for an investor to manage the trust and make distributions according to specific instructions.

A lot of people in Lake Charles think of trusts as something that only very wealthy people need or can even benefit from. This is far from the case, and anyone with any level of income can use trusts to their advantage. When used alongside other estate planning documents, a trust is a powerful tool that can give a person greater control when it comes to his or her property.

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