We have all heard the horror stories about families being torn apart after their parents pass away. Brothers, sisters, and long-lost family members who have spent years in court fighting over land, money, family heirlooms – big and small – and more. There will never be a family Christmas or birthday celebration together again.
This is not the vision or dreams that Mom and Dad held so close. This is not why they worked so hard and saved so much to give a better life to their kids and grandkids.
A trust can help.
Many of my clients did not see themselves as trust people until they knew the facts and benefits. Many believed trusts are only for the ultra-wealthy and famous, but that could not be further from the truth.
Generally speaking, most wills are a transaction while a trust is a legacy.
If you have a will, it directs how your assets are to be handled at your passing.
Once the cash, investments, IRAs, farmland, homes, collectibles, and other assets have been transferred to your children and grandchildren, they are free to do with them as they wish. These inherited assets are now owned by your heirs and accessible to their every whim, wishes, and wants. Distributions received outright via a will have no limits, restrictions, or protective provisions.
A trust leaves a legacy, a plan that cares for loved ones for generations to come.
Here are three important reasons to consider a trust.
Protect assets from remarriage, divorce, creditors, lawsuits, mismanagement, and more.
You can set up a revocable trust that, after your passing, becomes irrevocable and takes care of and provides for your spouse’s health, education, maintenance, and support for the remainder of their life. This not only ensures a high quality of life but if he/she remarries, your family assets will follow your family bloodlines (adoption may be included too) and not become assets of the new spouse. It is important to discuss all of what is important to you today and plan for the future you want to give to others.
This protection also applies to your children and grandchildren. Assets held in trust for heirs may also offer protection from their divorces, lawsuits, and creditors to help ensure they remain available to benefit your family lineage.
You know your family better than anyone. Many heirs are not experienced, knowledgeable, or prepared to handle an inheritance and often make quick snap decisions without knowing all of the facts, benefits, and consequences of their actions. A trust provides an opportunity to have an independent fiduciary, a trusted voice, advocate and expert, who legally must act in your heirs’ best interests and who will help walk them through their financial journey.
Provide a legacy asset for generations to come
It is generally noted that the farther you get away from the individuals who worked hard and sacrificed to create the inheritance assets, the less value, respect, and appreciation you have for the inherited assets. We find this to be true especially with generational farmland where family is no longer farming, and the heirs’ first response is to sell the farmland and not truly consider the long-term benefits this legacy asset and cash rent can have on generations of family members to follow.
By having a trust, you have the opportunity to avoid the lengthy and costly probate process and keep your financial matters private. It is very important not only to set up your trust but to make sure all assets have been titled in the name of the trust properly.
There are plenty of other reasons to consider a trust that may be unique to your personal, family and financial situation.
Inheritance is a gift and not a right. Please give your family the gift of planning so we can help keep family and finances together for generations to come.
We cannot offer legal or tax advice, however we work closely with attorneys and CPAs and would welcome the opportunity to work with you and your team of advisors. Please give us a call to discuss how a trust may benefit your situation. If you do not have a complete team we are happy to provide referrals.