Some people believe that trusts are only for very wealthy people. That is simply not true, although it is a fact that very many wealthy folks use them. In reality, trusts can be quite useful for the average person as well. Single parents, domestic partners, married couples, and business owners are all examples of regular people who may benefit from having one or more trusts in their estate planning toolkit.

After reading this brief outline, you may have a desire to learn more about or even set up a trust for your own personal and family situation. If this is so, look into comprehensive estate planning services Fairfax VA.

Trusts 101

Trusts have been used by people for centuries to ensure that their assets are deployed as they wish during and after their lives. Trusts are legal constructs in which property is held by a third party, often but not necessarily a bank, for the benefit of one or more beneficiaries. Assets in the trust are owned by the trust itself. These assets are disposed of via the rules incorporated in the trust document when it was created.

Why Trusts are Useful

Trusts can be created for any number of reasons. Here are some scenarios for which a trust may be useful:

  • To provide funds for a charity
  • To manage investments for under-age beneficiaries
  • To prevent the waste of resources by the poor judgment of the beneficiaries
  • To plan for business transition and succession
  • To avoid court-mandated probate

Types of Trusts

Because trusts are so very versatile, there are many types. Here are a few of them:

  • Testamentary Trusts,
  • Charitable and Charitable Remainder Trusts,
  • Living Trusts,
  • Asset-Protection Trusts, and
  • Special-Needs Trusts

Working with an Estate Planner

Because trusts are binding contracts, you will need the expertise of a qualified estate planner in order to set one up. A good planner will help you identify whether your overall situation would be advantageous for the creation of a trust.