Do i need a will or a trust?

One of the first things I get asked during a meeting with a client: do I need a trust? This can be a very loaded question, and often requires some explanation. A simple way to explain it to clients is if you have any kind of special circumstances going on, you probably will benefit from a trust.

The most common reason to do a trust is having special needs beneficiaries, or those who simply can’t handle money. A trust is very useful to allow everything into one pot, and then distributions to be made from this pot. I have many clients use this option to set up a portion for a child who gets some type of government benefits, as this allows us to stagger distribution. In addition, we can use trusts to allow a spendthrift provision. That is, someone who cant handle large amounts of money can be restricted to have so much access at a time.

Another common reason clients do a trust is for out of state assets. If a client has property in another state, this is a very good reason to utilize a trust. A trust will help to make the inheritance of this property much simpler at your passing.

Organizing assets is a very good reason to use a trust. Clients will often really like the idea of using a trust to have control vested in one person. This can cut down on fighting between family members. It will also make the process easier to handle by not having too many having to agree on the ins and outs of managing and distributing the assets

In conclusion, the option of a will or trust involves a lot of different variables. It is definitely a choice to make after consultation with a legal professional.


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