While most estate planning attorneys may be in favor of a trust for all of their clients, it may not be the best estate planning tool. Each person must consider the cost as well as the alternatives to a trust before deciding to create one. In some cases, it may be easier to go through a simplified probate process.
It may even be possible to assign a beneficiary to some assets and have them transferred automatically. For example, adding a payable on death form to a bank account may enable a beneficiary to collect that money by presenting a form to the bank. Transferable on death can allow beneficiaries to collect investment earnings by presenting the form as well as a valid death certificate. Designated beneficiaries may also be able to automatically collect money from an individual’s life insurance policy or a retirement account.
Those who do not own property in other states may not need a trust. This is because the estates of those individuals will go through probate in just their home state. Anyone who doesn’t mind that the details of their estate will go public may not want a trust either. One of the main reasons people start a trust is to shield their estate from a public and detailed probate process.
Estate planning tools such as trusts may be an effective way to protect assets for future generations. However, it may be worthwhile for an individual to discuss with an estate planning attorney as to whether a trust is appropriate. By weighing all possible options, it may be possible for a person to make the best decision for him or her.