Ohio residents who have not discussed funeral plans or payment with family members or who do not have life insurance policies set up to cover funeral expenses might want to consider creating a funeral trust. This may be unnecessary for a person who has enough money to cover long-term care expenses and who does not want money to be inaccessible. However, a funeral trust can be helpful for family members because it can relieve them from having to make decisions in a time of stress and grief.
A person can choose between a revocable or irrevocable trust. A revocable trust can be altered or canceled by its creator while an irrevocable trust cannot. However, an irrevocable trust has other advantages. If a person is required to pay down assets in order to access Medicaid or other government services, the money in an irrevocable funeral trust may be considered exempt from this requirement.
Other aspects of the funeral may be planned ahead of time as well. For example, a person might make decisions about the service, transportation and where the burial will take place.
There are a number of other reasons a person might want to have a trust as part of an estate plan. With a trust, an estate may avoid probate with its costs and delays. Trusts have many other uses as well. For example, they can protect assets if a person is concerned that a beneficiary might not manage an inheritance responsibly. A trustee could be in charge of distributions, or the distributions could be tied to a specific milestone such as age. A trust can protect assets from creditors or help lower taxes on an estate. A trust can also be set up to contribute to a charity while providing income for its creator or beneficiaries.