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What can a trust accomplish that a will cannot?

On Behalf of | Feb 23, 2022 | Estate Planning |

Having an Ohio estate plan put together helps you accomplish many important objectives. For example, having a will in your estate plan gives you a way to decide who you want to inherit your legacy and assets once you die. However, there are limits to what you might be able to do with a traditional will. In some instances, establishing a trust may allow you to accomplish more than you could in a standard will.

According to Kiplinger, a trust involves you creating a formal agreement between yourself and someone you name a trustee. It is then the job of the trustee to oversee trust distributions and make sure they occur in line with your wishes. What are some of the things you might do through a trust that a will does not enable you to do?

Protect public assistance eligibility

If any of your beneficiaries use government benefits, you need to be careful leaving them assets in a traditional will. Doing so may give him or her too many assets to qualify for means-based benefits programs. However, assets you leave in a trust become the property of the trustee, rather than your beneficiary, even if they ultimately go to your intended individual. So, they do not make a difference during means-testing.

Manage spending

A trust may also prove wise if you have fears about one or more of your beneficiaries blowing through the money you leave behind. You may tell your trustee to make distributions to a spendthrift child only under certain conditions, helping prevent this individual from wasting what you leave him or her.

While these are two of many things you might be able to do with a trust, there are many additional goals you may be able to accomplish by creating one.