By: Jeremy Skoglund, VP Trust Officer
I have a Will, why would I want a Trust?
A Will is a document almost everyone should put together. If you have family and/or assets, you can direct a lot through a Will. You can include things like who should take care of your kids, where your money should go, or who gets your Roger Maris rookie baseball card (I’d be willing to hold on to that for you if you’re worried about someone sticking it in their bike tire). Without a Will, the laws of your state will govern what happens to your assets.
Many of us believe that a Will is all we need to make sure our loved ones are taken care of. We may think that because we don’t have millions of dollars of assets, there’s no reason to look at other documents, such as a Trust. Only people like the Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, or the Waltons need a Trust, right? Wrong. There are some great reasons to have a Trust, regardless of whether you will be under the $11.2 million exemption or not, and here is a couple of them.
With or without a Will, your estate will go through probate. Like I mentioned, without a Will, the government will decide what will happen with your assets. With a Will, a judge still needs to review and approve your Will, and this process could take six months to over a year.
A Trust, on the other hand, is a contract between you (the Grantor), the person or company you designate to manage your assets (the Trustee), and those that will receive your assets (the Beneficiaries). This contract does not go through probate, which allows the Trustee to begin managing your assets immediately.
Part of the process that causes probate to take so long is the fact that the judge has to allow time for someone to contest the Will. And to make sure everyone has an opportunity to contest the Will, it has to be made public. I don’t know about you, but I don’t need everyone and their dog seeing who will get my collection of Ryobi tools.
There are very few people who will have access to your Trust document. A Trustee is not obligated to discuss the Trust with anyone other than the Grantor or the Beneficiaries, so my neighbor can’t try to see if my final wishes were to give him my tools.
If you are interested in learning about other benefits of a Trust or how we could help you manage a Trust, give us a call: