Estate planning is not necessarily easy. There are a lot of estate planning products out there, some of which may prove useful to one's situation and others that will not. Many Washington residents have heard about trusts, but many are confused about whether they need one. The truth is, not everyone needs to set up a trust, but for those with children, young or old, it is a great way to ensure their kids get the assets intended for them.
When a person has minor children living at home, there is a need to make sure, in the event of one's death or incapacitation, that those children will be properly cared for. In a will, it is possible to name a guardian to take care of the kids, it is also possible to designate beneficiaries and provide instructions about how assets are to be used to raise the children and then passed on to them when they reach adulthood. The problem with leaving all of this information in just a will is that all assets then become fair game if creditors make claims or legal claims are filed against one's estate. There may also be very little care paid to how the guardians use the funds meant for the kids in their care.
An irrevocable trust keeps assets in a secure place. Creditors cannot take them. They are protected from legal claims, and a trustee can ensure the assets are used according to one's final wishes. These are all benefits that would be good for older children as well.
Trusts can be difficult to set up. If they are not written just so or if the trust is never funded, the trust document becomes a useless piece of paper. Washington residents who want more information about trusts or who need help creating one can turn to an experienced probate attorney for assistance.