When people in Texas engage in financial planning, naturally their main focus is on creating secure futures for themselves. However, with estate planning, the focus is different. With trusts, in particular, the goal is to benefit charities and surviving loved ones in the event of one's death.
Having a trust can be time consuming, and it requires administrative steps. For this reason, it is wise for people to explore whether trusts would actually benefit them before implementing these estate planning tools. Whether a person would benefit from a trust depends on the various types of assets he or she owns.
For people with many assets that must go through probate upon their deaths -- such as precious metals or real estate -- setting up a trust might be a wise move. This is because any assets kept inside a trust are not subject to probate. A trust is especially valuable for a person who has real estate in multiple states, as he or she may end up being subject to probate in all of these states.
For individuals in the state of Texas whose assets are mostly owned in joint tenancy or are covered by beneficiary designations, these assets already do not have to go through probate. Therefore, a trust may not carry much value for these individuals. An applied understanding of the law may help people to determine whether trusts are right for them when it comes to estate planning. Appropriate legal guidance can also help people to draft wills and other important estate planning documents that meet their unique needs.
Source: twincities.com, "Your money: A will is not the only way in estate planning", Bruce Helmer and Peg Webb, Sept. 24, 2016