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When do trusts in estate planning make sense?

When it comes time to create an estate plan, you will be faced with a variety of questions. Nothing is more important than making sure every question is answered accurately and in its entirety. This will help you avoid trouble now, while also taking a lot of stress off your family once you pass on.

Many people create a will and never consider any other estate planning document. Others, however, have come to realize that a trust may be perfect for their particular situation.

Everybody has the right to create a trust, but this makes more sense for those who meet one or more of the following conditions:

-- A large amount of your assets is tied up in a business, real estate or some type of collection such as art.

-- You are interested in leaving your estate to your heirs, but don't want it to be paid out immediately. For example, some people setup a trust so a child does not receive the money until he or she reaches age 30.

-- You are looking for ways to minimize taxes and maximize exemptions.

-- You want to make sure a disabled relative is taken care of after your death, without jeopardizing his or her government assistance, such as Medicaid.

It is hard to say if a trust makes sense until you consider the pros and cons. At that point, you will have a clear understanding of what this can do for you and your family.

Some people consult with an estate planning attorney to ensure that they are on the right track. This helps them avoid any issues that could come about from making the wrong decisions.

Source: CNN, "Estate planning: Is a trust beneficial?" accessed Feb. 03, 2015

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