Probate is the process of settling your estate through the Massachusetts court system. Although there is nothing inherently wrong with opting for a will and allowing your estate to go through probate, there may be benefits to sidestepping this process so that your heirs receive their inheritance in a more timely manner.
At the Law Offices of Roche and Roche, PC, we often counsel clients on the potential advantages a trust may have for them.
- Providing for your heirs
Perhaps you have a sizeable estate, and you worry that your heirs will not be in a position to manage the assets in a way that will help them. As CNN Money points out, if you transfer the assets to a trust, you can appoint a trustee to manage the investments and provide each of your beneficiaries with an income from the interest.
Because the trustee must follow the instructions you put in the trust, you can ensure that your heirs will receive their inheritance in exactly the way that you prefer.
- Reducing taxes
During probate, your estate will be subject to estate taxes, which the executor of your will has to pay before distributing assets to your beneficiaries. Assets in a trust belong to the trust and not to your estate, so they are not subject to the estate tax when you die.
- Protecting assets from creditors
Assets in an irrevocable trust do not belong to you, and after you die, they do not belong to your heirs, either. As long as they belong to the trust, they may not be accessible to creditors. However, a revocable trust does not protect assets from creditors or lawsuits because they are still under your control.
More information about setting up a trust is available on our webpage.