Page 12 - Senior Times South Central Michigan - June 2018 - 25-06
P. 12

Page 12 Senior Times - June 2018
I’M NOT A MILLIONAIRE, SO WHY DO I NEED A TRUST?
By: Stacey Lott, Attorney
you have a minor child. If you do not set up distribution in a trust, and only have a Will, or no estate planning at all, your minor chil- dren generally would receive their money when they are 18 years old. Most people agree that 18 is way too young to inherit any large amounts of money. As a result, creat- ing a trust fund for your children or grand children to take care of their needs and then distribute the remainder when they are old and mature enough to handle it, is a very important planning tool for parents and grand parents.
The ease of administration is also a great reason to create a trust. After you pass away, your loved ones are going to be dealing with so much. They will be grieving your loss, dealing with the funeral, the creditors, the medical bills, etc. It is such a gift to them to make sure that they don’t have to be dealing with lawyers and court after you pass away as well.
Another reason many people create trusts is to protect assets for their children or grand
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I’m not a millionaire, so why do I need
a trust? That is one of the questions that I am asked the most in my practice. It seems that there is a common misconception that unless you have a huge taxable estate, there is no reason to have a trust. However, there are several very good reasons to create a liv- ing or revocable or even an irrevocable trust agreement, if the situation calls for it.
The first, and probably most common,
reason people choose to create a trust is to “avoid probate.” If you have a trust agree- ment drafted up by an attorney, the attorney should always explain to you how to “fund” your trust. Funding a trust means that you make sure that the trust is either the “owner” or the “beneficiary” of the assets that you (or you and your spouse) own.
If all of your assets are “in the trust” upon your death, then those assets do not need to go through the Probate Court process in order to be distributed to your beneficiaries. That makes a trust a very valuable tool in “avoiding probate.”
Generally having an estate plan drafted that includes a living trust is less expensive than hiring an attorney to represent you in the probate process. Unfortunately, a Will alone is not enough to avoid probate, so a trust is the best way to go for that reason.
The second most common, and probably most important, reason to create a trust is if
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CALHOUN COUNTY MEDICAL CARE FACILITY
04 1150 East Michigan Ave, Battle Creek, MI 49014 Donna Mahoney, 269-962-5458
EVERGREEN SENIOR CARE & REHAB CENTER
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