You would establish a trust to provide legal protection for your assets, to make sure those assets are distributed according to your wishes, and to save time, reduce paperwork and, in some cases, avoid or reduce inheritance or estate taxes. A trust is a written document that allows you to legally transfer your property, assets and your personal belongings to your family, heirs, and loved ones, upon your death.

Your trust allows your heirs to avoid probate. Instead of paying thousands of dollars in probate costs, fees, and attorney charges, the bulk of your estate will be distributed to your heirs upon your death. It saves money and time.

A trust allows you keep control. Your trust document contains your instructions for managing your assets, and the use of your funds in the event of your death or incapacity. Even when you are unable to handle your own affairs, you make sure they are handled the way you want. And while you are able, you still have full control to buy, use, spend, or even give away your property as you determine. You can sell property, change your beneficiaries, or your trustee, or even revoke the trust if you should decide to do so. In addition, a living trust is private. If you do become incapacitated, it will remain a private family affair. Upon your death, no announcements need be placed in the paper to invite creditors to file claims, to contest your will, or to notify disgruntled relatives. Your beneficiaries need not be made public.

Here’s a good rule of thumb: If you have a net worth of at least $100,000 and have substantial assets in real estate or have very specific instructions on how and when you want your estate to be distributed among your heirs after you die, then a trust could be for you.

C4 Legal Assistance has the expertise to help you set up your trust quickly and affordably. We take the guesswork out of the paperwork and make sure all contingencies are taken care of.