When Virginia residents think about their mortality, they often want to make sure that their assets can be disbursed according to their wishes. They also frequently want to pass on the vast majority of their assets to their heirs, rather than seeing a large portion consumed by estate taxes. In addition, many people prefer the flexibility, control and privacy provided by trusts, rather than simply passing assets on in a will. Trusts can have important benefits from the moment they are created, so many people prefer to create living trusts, rather than testamentary trusts that come into existence only after their death.
Unlike assets that pass through a will, trust assets pass on to their beneficiaries without going through the probate process. This can help to protect those funds from dubious challenges while also keeping the process out of public view. There are other benefits of trusts, however. They provide a strong mechanism for passing assets to minor children, but they also provide additional protection for adults. Trust protectors are one enhancement that people can use when creating a trust to provide additional protection for those assets in case of lawsuits, creditor issues or divorce.
In many cases, when parents create a trust for their adult child, the child is named as the trustee after the parents pass away. The trust can be structured so that the trustee is changed to another trusted person, such as a sibling or a trust professional, in the event of an economic threat to the trust’s integrity. This can allow people to build in additional protections to their trusts from the beginning.
There are a range of options that people can choose to protect their assets and support their loved ones after they pass away. An estate planning attorney may provide advice and guidance on these matters.