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Learning about trusts

Certain estate planning tools can be used to specify conditions under which beneficiaries can receive their inheritance. Ohio residents may benefit from learning about trusts.

There are several types of trusts, including the revocable living trust, which is one of the most commonly used ones and can be revoked or modified at any time during the creator's life. Trusts have a trustee who is responsible for managing the trust assets. They are created with provisions that specify who the beneficiaries are and how and when they can receive the assets in the trust.

Trusts are highly customizable. For example, some parents may opt to allow their children to have access to trust funds at certain ages. Other parents may provide different provisions for each of their children. Also, some trusts can be created to continue after the settlor has died so that their children's share of the trust are protected from creditors, former spouses or the irresponsible use by the beneficiaries themselves.

Individuals interested in using trusts should know that the provisions apply only to the assets that have been placed in them. If a trust is created and has not been funded, it can fail to accomplish what the settlor intended. Also, the provisions of the trust would not be enforceable because the trust would be empty.

Individuals who want to ensure that their assets are handled a certain way after they pass may want to consult with an attorney who practices estate planning law. The attorney may take into account a client's assets and goals and may recommend a specific type of trust. The client may receive assistance with how to ensure that other assets are not required to undergo probate.

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