The Truth About Trusts

Should you create a trust, or is a will sufficient to carry out your wishes? Are trusts only for rich people? Trusts are a very popular estate planning tool. But there is a lot of untrustworthy information out there about trusts.

The estate planning attorneys of Solomon, Steiner & Peck, Ltd., will assess your situation and let you know whether a trust makes sense for you. If so, we will prepare a trust that meets your specific needs.

The following are some straight answers to common questions about trusts:

Should Everyone Have a Trust?

No. Many people today are using trusts to avoid probate. But trusts are expensive, and there may be less costly ways to avoid probate, such as joint ownership or beneficiary designations.

Are Trusts Only for the Rich?

Not at all. Wealthy people do often use trusts to reduce or eliminate federal estate or death taxes. But trusts provide lots of benefits that have nothing to do with a person's wealth.

Do Trusts Protect an Inheritance for Your Kids and Keep It From Their Spouses?

Yes. Normally, with a will or joint account or beneficiary designation, your assets go to your kids outright. If they later get a divorce or die, your estate, or at least part of it, is likely to end up with your child's spouse. If you want to leave an inheritance for your kids but keep it from their spouses, you'll need to create a trust.

Can a Revocable Living Trust Shelter Assets From Nursing Homes?

No. A standard revocable living trust provides no protection from nursing home costs. But there is a specialized trust, called a Medicaid trust, which can be used to protect assets from Medicaid and nursing homes.

Do Trusts Provide Protection in Second Marriages?

Yes. If you just leave everything to your spouse, the assets may ultimately benefit his or her family, cutting out your kids. But with a marital trust, you can leave your assets to benefit your spouse while he or she is alive, while making sure your kids from a prior marriage are also protected.

From four locations, our estate planning lawyers draft and review trusts for clients throughout northeast Ohio. Contact us today to discuss your estate planning needs.