Ohio residents may be able to meet their estate planning needs with just a will. However, it may be appropriate to include a trust in an estate plan because of the benefits that it may offer. For instance, those who have special needs children or grandchildren may use a trust to preserve assets while also retaining their eligibility for government benefits.
Individuals who wish to make the transfer of assets after their death a private matter may prefer to use a trust because assets within it may avoid probate. In addition to the added privacy, probate can be a lengthy and costly process. During probate, beneficiaries do not have access to their inheritance and the estate cannot pay its bills.
If a person dies with outstanding debt balances, creditors may not be able to liquidate assets in a trust to pay off that debt. This is because the assets in the trust belong to it as opposed to the person who may benefit from them. In some cases, it may be possible to allow the beneficiary to act as the trustee, which means that he or she may manage his or her own inheritance free from creditor interference.
Although there are good reasons to create trusts, they may not be appropriate for everyone. It may be a good idea to have a trust planning session with an attorney. It may help an individual determine if a trust is right for his or her estate planning needs, and it may also help to determine what type of trust is worth creating.