Photo of Eric R. Ebbert, CFP®, MBA, CEO Eric R. Ebbert, CFP®, MBA, CEO Mar 03, 2021

Making sure your loved ones are cared for in the event of your passing is a priority for anyone with a family. How to go about this, though, can be challenging to figure out.

One option for declaring how you wish your wealth and property to be distributed to your loved ones is by writing a will. Another option is to establish a trust fund and estate plan.

What you need to know about trusts and estates

A trust fund is a legal relationship in which your property and assets are entrusted to a person or organization who holds and oversees them for your beneficiaries’ benefits.

An estate plan is the process of arranging the management and distribution of your estate in the event of your incapacitation or death.

Trust and estate planning often go hand in hand because they both deal with how to pass on your possessions to your loved ones. 

But why would you do this instead of simply writing a will? Here is what you need to know about why you would want trust and estate planning:

  1. Trusts are not just for the wealthy — Many people have a misconception that a trust and estate plan is just for the wealthy, but this is not true. Anyone with property has an estate. Your estate makes up everything you own, including all your property, all your property rights and even assets with loans.
  2. A trust cannot be scrutinized by the public — A will is a matter of public record, but a trust is not. If you wish for more privacy, a trust and estate plan may be a better choice.
  3. A trust can save on court fees — The wishes of your will must be assessed and enacted by a probate court. This can be an expensive process, and not all your wishes may be enacted as you would have liked.
  4. A trust can be active while you are alive — You can include provisions in a trust and estate plan for what is to happen with your property and assets in the event of incapacitation, such as a coma. With a will, your wishes only take effect once you have passed away.
  5. A trust can include provisions for your health care — Beyond what you leave to others, your trust can also include your wishes for health care in the event you are incapacitated or unable to make decisions. For example, your trust can include provisions for your preferred health care facility in the event you are in a coma.

Talk to a ProVise CFP® professional about trusts and estates

At ProVise Management Group, our CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professionals can get to know you and your current financial circumstances, goals, risk tolerance and personal values to help you develop a plan that works for you. We can also create a written plan for you at a fiduciary standard of care. All our written plans come with an unconditional money-back guarantee. If you are unhappy with your written plan, you can return it to us, and we will refund 100% of the fee paid.

Are you ready to talk to a professional about trust and estate planning? Contact ProVise today to schedule a complimentary consultation.