When people think of trusts for estate plans, they often picture those with multi-million-dollar estates. However, trusts are useful tools for those who have far more average household incomes.
Middle-class Americans may feel surprised to learn that trusts can be particularly beneficial for their estate planning needs. There are many reasons why people use trusts, including three very compelling reasons below.
They don’t want to worry about creditor claims
If you worry that you would have nothing left to leave for your loved ones after a long hospitalization, you can act now to preserve your most valuable property both as you grow older and after you die. Trusts can serve as a way to shield your assets from creditors, whether they want to sue you while you are alive or make a claim against your estate after you die.
They will have an easier time getting Medicaid
Medicaid benefits can pay for nursing home care and other medical expenses that Medicare does not cover. Your property can prevent you from qualifying for Medicaid or result in estate recovery efforts after you die. A trust could help you qualify and protect your legacy later.
They will have a say over how people use their inheritance
If you leave your house to one of your children, they could demolish it or sell it if they wanted. You have no control over that property once it passes to the new owner.
When you create a trust, your wishes will continue to guide what happens with the property you leave for others. You can provide for someone’s basic needs and educational costs without worrying that they will waste or misuse the assets you leave for them. For those who have children with special needs or a family member with a complicated history, a trust could be a way to leave assets without worrying about their misuse.
Recognizing the value of adding a trust to your estate plan could help you better protect yourself and those you love.