When you establish your estate plan in California, you may think that a will is sufficient. There are some times, though, when it might be beneficial to set up a trust.
Although your children can usually receive assets through your will, a trust might be a better option for handing down these assets if one of your children has special needs. Forbes says that this is because your child may sometimes be unable to receive government assistance if he or she receives an inheritance. Additionally, your child might need someone else to control these assets. Setting up a trust can help you ensure that your child has the financial support he or she needs.
If your children are young, you might want to establish conditions your children need to meet in order to receive their assets. In some circumstances, you may want to include a statement that your children need to go to college to access additional funds from the trust. This can sometimes help you ensure that your children achieve milestones that are important to you.
Sometimes you may own property outside California. In this situation, this property is usually subject to probate in that state. A trust can sometimes help you make sure your heirs receive this property more quickly without paying the costs of probate. Additionally, a trust can help ensure that your estate remains private. This can be beneficial if you think one of your heirs might disagree with the way you have chosen to distribute your assets.
This information is general in nature. It should not be used in place of legal advice.