As an estate planning attorney I am asked every day about trusts. Why should I use a trust? What is a trust? What do trusts do? Are trusts about trust?
All these questions are interesting as are the answers. However neither the question nor answer get to the essence of why we use trusts and their ultimate purpose--protection.
Trusts are used to protect someone or something (property) from someone or something (taxes). As examples think about protecting these folks:
1. Your spouse.
2. Your kids.
3. An elderly loved one.
4. Someone at risk.
5. Someone with a disability.
Things we might protect against include:
1. Poor money management.
5. Addictive behavior or drug addiction.
So when you ask a question about whether a trust might fit into your planning ask if there is someone you want to protect, something you want to protect and what risks you want to protect against.
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