What are the advantages of a Trust? - Believe it or not, control is the biggest feature of a trust.  While healthy and sharp, a client can arrange a comprehensive plan that addresses current circumstances as well as anticipate likely future events including the inevitable.

Designation of trustees may be the most important feature of a trust.  You may love your spouse or children, but they may not be the appropriate choice to manage a client's financial affairs.  A more distant relative, friend or even a professional trust institution may be a better selection.  What's important to remember is that a trustee is responsible for your property, not you.  A trust can relieve you of the chore, obligation and responsibility of financial management while still maintaining the freedom over your own health and personal decisions.  When the time comes that a client needs assistance in that phase of life, a power of attorney can be used granting authority to either the trustee or any other person.

Privacy is important to many people.  Probate is a public event.  The records are subject to scrutiny.  A trust is a private matter.  It is confidential among the grantor, trustee and beneficiary.

Avoiding probate is more than a matter of privacy.  Probate can be a stressful, lengthy and expensive process coming at an emotionally challenging time.  Of course there is an upfront cost associated with a trust and regular reviews may well cost as much as the probate proceedings so expense should not really be a prime motivator.  The real benefit comes from the simpler administration of a trust as opposed to a probate.  Not to mention the fact that in addition to the courts, a family may need to find and retain an unknown lawyer to facilitate the process further complicating the situation.

In the end, a trust is indeed about control and peace of mind.

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