As you age, you think more about what you want to pass down to your loved ones. The older you get, the more assets you will accumulate, some valuable and some sentimental. One of the estate-planning tools that you may not think about too often is setting up a trust.
You may not even think of a trust as an estate-planning tool at all but it can be an extremely effective and useful tool that may help you as you are working on the various parts of your estate planning.
Exactly what is a trust?
A trust is a type of legal relationship and it is created as soon as the document is signed. Money can be put into the trust at all times and is controlled by the designated trustee. The trustee’s purpose is to ensure that the beneficiary (or beneficiaries) of the trust receive the assets at the appropriate, designated time. A trustee can be a person (a family member or a professional) or an institution (for example, a bank). The trustee is responsible for managing the assets until it is time for the beneficiary to receive the assets. This transfer can come about all at once or in regular payments.
What are the purposes of a trust?
A trust can work effectively in several different ways under Ohio law. One is by helping a surviving spouse after the trust settlor has died. Another way is if it has been made part of a strategy in which the person who set up the trust is trying to decrease the cost of settling the estate.
Let’s consider that the person who originally set up the trust was in good health when they set it up. If that person becomes ill, the trust may start to be neglected. In that case, the person may choose to assign the trust’s management to another trustee. If the person who set up the trust dies and that estate is sizeable and has been designated to go to the other spouse, the trust will probably most effectively ensure that the spouse and other beneficiaries are taken care of.
Solid advice from an Ohio estate planning attorney
If you are starting to plan your estate and you are not sure how to begin, the advice of an experienced Ohio estate planning attorney may help you a great deal. Estate planning can be complex and consulting with the attorney may simplify things in your mind and may make the entire process seem far less daunting. Once you have everything in place, you will be able to enjoy your life and look forward to passing down your legacy someday.