When it comes to estate planning, you have a variety of legal tools at your disposal. You can create a will that spells out how your assets will be distributed upon your death, but you can also create a number of trusts to help both protect your estate and ensure that assets are distributed on your terms. There are a variety of trusts to meet your needs, which means that you should learn about the various trust types and their benefits before completing your estate planning.
One trust to be considered in the charitable trust. Here, assets are held in the trust for the benefit of a charity that you identify. Although many consider this type of trust to be reserved for the wealthy, it can, in fact, be utilized by anyone who chooses to create one. There are many benefits to this kind of trust, too. Amongst those benefits is the knowledge that you are doing good and sharing that experience with your loved ones. Additionally, you can receive tax benefits from this kind of trust. Even though this trust is meant to give for the benefit of a charity, a beneficiary can still receive an income in either a fixed dollar amount or a percentage of the trust.
Exactly how you go about creating a charitable trust can be critically important. You need to identify a charity to benefit as well as the assets that you want to place in the trust. Although money is often the first choice, other assets such as real estate can also prove beneficial for a charity. Once that is done, then you’ll need to name someone to serve as trustee. This can be a big responsibility, so this decision should not be made lightly.
Estate planning is an ongoing process that can be tailored to meet your and your family’s needs at the time. Therefore, individuals should consult with their attorney not only when they are creating their initial estate plan, but also when they are considering modifying an existing plan.