You know a Trust can avoid probate. You know it can be there for your or your surviving spouse’s needs. But what else is helpful about a Trust? When it comes time for your Trust to distribute assets, you have many options. Your assets do not need to go, for instance, one-half to each child.
A great characteristic of a Trust is how it can distribute in really just about any way you can imagine.
Look at all these ways a Trust can distribute, based upon your wishes:
You can leave a percentage to Timothy at age 21;
To Timothy ⅓ at age 22, another ⅓ and age 25, remainder at 30;
You might leave a percentage to Timothy for post-secondary educational needs, remainder at age 23;
To Timothy in a children’s trust, to help support his needs until age 18, then remainder to Timothy outright;
It may be important to you to leave assets to Timothy in a supplemental special needs trust. The SNT can assist him for life but without disqualifying him from assistance for which he may otherwise qualify;
What else have I seen around:
To Timothy at age 25, provided he can pass a urinalysis test for illegal drugs;
One might leave assets to Timothy so long as he is not co-habitating with Karen for at least 12 consecutive months prior to distribution;
To Timothy as long as he has been employed full time for 12 consecutive months prior to distribution;
Perhaps you would like to leave a sum to Timothy at age 30, to be used as a down payment upon a home;
To Timothy to take care of my beloved border collie, Sam, for Sam’s care for his lifetime;
or you might leave a percentage to Timothy when he marries, to help with the start of his choosing.
There are dozens of other ways you can have your Trust distribute to your family. That’s another part of the brilliance of a Trust as the center of an estate plan. Rather than just a document that distributes assets outright upon your death, it can do so, so many things. It can be there to provide during your life, and for years and years after your life.
I hope this helps you.