Trusts are used to accomplish a wide variety of specific estate planning goals, but most trust planning objectives tend to fall into four broad categories:
- Estate tax minimization,
- Asset protection,
- Setting terms for accessing assets (e.g. age or amount requirements), and
- Directing assets and property where you want.
Trusts greatly expand your estate planning options. They work in tandem with (not as alternatives to) wills to direct how and when beneficiaries receive your assets. In addition, assets and property distributed through a trust can avoid the public, expensive, and protracted Probate process.
There are hundreds of different types and subtypes of trusts to choose from. Depending on your exact goals, you and your estate planning attorney can decide on the type of trust that is right for you.