Trusts can be helpful tools in estate planning - when used correctly. Depending on your goals, creating a trust of some sort may be beneficial for your estate. Our office will review what you want to accomplish and let you know whether a certain type of trust will meet that goal - or whether you need a trust at all.
Perhaps the most well-known trust is called the revocable inter vivos trust, a.k.a. the revocable living trust. This trust usually names the creator of the trust as settlor (creator), trustee, and beneficiary - essentially establishing a trust to the benefit of one's self. There are several benefits to such a trust, including:
If set up properly, a revocable living trust can help avoid or dimish the costs of probate.
Your assets may continue to be distributed according to your trust document if you become incapacitated or incompetent.
Trusts generally provide more privacy than a will.
Please note that a will is still an important document to have. Also note that the costs of probate in North Carolina are generally not seen as being unduly burdensome to most estates. Talking with an attorney can help you understand whether this kind of trust accomplishes your goals.
Also note that there are common misconceptions about trusts, specifically revocable living trusts. One misconception is that a revocable trust will shield your assets from creditors (it won't). Another is that a revocable trust is a substitute for a will (it isn't).
Of course, this is only one kind of trust. There are many different trusts available to accomplish various objectives, and our office is happy to go over them with you. The important thing is to find out whether a trust can accomplish your goals and if so, how to go about creating one.