There are numerous different reasons for establishing a trust, especially in light of the constantly shifting nature of estate tax reform. Clients often ask estate planning attorneys, why do really need a trust. It might seem as though the simplest approach is to use a last will and testament to document how you intend for your loved ones to receive materials from your estate.
However, it’s likely that the tax cuts, which have a very high exemption amount, are probably temporary. Planning for incapacity, adding privacy, and avoiding probate are just a couple of the other reasons why you might wish to use a trust.
Trusts can also be used to limit a child’s access to an inheritance or to prevent bad decisions that are made by a surviving spouse. This is because trusts allow for some level of control by the trust creator as far as who receives benefits from the trust and at which point in time.
Employing some level of control is best exercised by putting together and properly funding a trust. Your lawyer should be used to draft this trust.
If you are concerned about the surviving spouse spending too much money on frivolous items and not leaving behind enough for your children or grandchildren, the support of an estate planning attorney is crucial in developing a living trust document that reflects your individual needs.