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Helping You Navigate Complex Legal Issues

Revocable trusts might benefit estate planning

Gregory A. Lang

It may be beneficial for Minnesota residents to set up a will and determine who will receive what when they pass away. Not only does estate planning ease the transfer of assets in the event of a sudden or unexpected death, it could keep any arguments between family members to a minimum.

Those who have wealth often fail to plan how that wealth will transfer to heirs and beneficiaries after death. While a will can certainly help with that process, using it as a primary document means that most of a person's assets must go through the probate process. This can take time, and the provisions of the document might be made available to the public. To avoid forcing heirs to deal with this, a revocable trust might be formed during the planning process. This allows the person to be able to determine exactly what happens with their assets, and the document is not subject to probate.

Additionally, revocable trusts can allow the person to determine when and how much the beneficiary will receive. This way, children who are set to inherit a large sum of money cannot spend it too quickly and be left with nothing. The trusts can also be changed as needed. However, there is a downside; there are more upfront costs when building a trust than incurred during the creation of a will. Alternatively, if probate is not a concern, a testamentary trust can be set up in the will.

Those who have concerns about setting up an estate plan might consider discussing their situation with an attorney. An attorney who is familiar with estate planning strategies might be able to discuss the properties, benefits and drawbacks of various planning tools, including trusts and wills.

Source: Daily Finance, "Robin Williams' Estate Plan Spares His Heirs a Lot of Drama", Dan Caplinger, August 14, 2014

Source: Daily Finance, "Robin Williams' Estate Plan Spares His Heirs a Lot of Drama", Dan Caplinger, August 14, 2014

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