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Are you familiar with the advantages of trusts?

It doesn't matter if you are creating an estate plan for the first time or making a change to your current plan, you don't want to make any mistake (not even a small one).

Some people neglect to learn about the advantages of a trust. Instead, they feel that a will is the only thing they need.

Even though you may never create a trust, it makes sense to learn more about how it could fit into your estate plan. Some of the primary advantages include:

-- Ability to decide how and when your assets are distributed after you pass on.

-- Reduce gift and estate taxes, thus saving your heirs money.

-- Eliminate concerns regarding the probate process. Not only does this save your heirs time, but it can save them money as well. Probate can cost as much as 7 percent of the value of your estate.

-- Option to name a successor trustee. This person is responsible for managing your trust if you are incapacitated, as well as after you pass on.

-- Helps protect your assets from lawsuits and creditors.

When you take these benefits into consideration, you may soon realize that a trust is the best way to setup your estate plan. Not only does this give you peace of mind while you are alive, but you know that a trust will help protect the best interests of your heirs once you pass away.

There is a lot that goes into creating a trust, so you need to take the appropriate steps if you want to take full advantage.

Source: CNN, "Estate planning: Types of trusts," accessed July 09, 2015

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