Florida sports fans may have heard of the generous provision that basketball coach Dean Smith made for about 180 former players. The coach used a revocable living trust to distribute $200 each to the players.
Because a trust provides privacy that a will does not, the public would not have become aware of the distribution if not for players posting about it on social media. It can be surmised that due to his choice of a trust that the North Carolina coach did not necessarily intend for his generosity to become public knowledge.
The revocable living trust has other advantages besides privacy. One difference between it and some other types of trusts is that the individual who owns it has the option to change their mind and dissolve the trust.
Trusts can be expensive both to set up and from an administrative point of view. It is also important that they are set up properly. One problem that sometimes occurs in estate planning is that individuals never complete the process of transferring property into the trust. Some experts recommend having both a will and a trust, and an individual may want to create what is known as a “pour-over” will. This type of will is designed to handle any property that is not included in the trust.
Individuals who are considering a trust as part of their estate planning may wish to speak with an attorney. There are many different types besides revocable living trusts including irrevocable trusts and special needs trusts. The individual may even want to set up several different trusts depending on their individual circumstances. For example, one trust might be set up to distribute money at certain times to a disabled beneficiary while another type might be used to distribute small sums to a number of different individuals.