When to Trust?

In order to determine whether you need to utilize a trust as part of your estate plan, your attorney will also need some of the following information. While a trust is a common tool in other states, Washington probate is fairly straightforward and so a trust is usually not necessary unless some of the following circumstances apply.

Do you have any children or grandchildren under age 18 who you want to give something to in your Will?

If so you would need to select someone to handle the gift before the child reaches majority. Please have an idea of someone you would like to be responsible for the child’s finances. If the child in question is your biological child you may also want to prepare an idea of who you would like to be a guardian of your child in the event that you and the child’s other parent are unable to care for the child. You can also elect to set up a trust in your estate plan so that your final gift is only given at a certain age that you can specify.

Do you have anyone whom you wish to give part of your estate plan who is disabled?

In the case of a disabled beneficiary your estate may need to include a ‘Special Needs Trust’.A Special Needs Trust is a specialized testamentary trust that protects a disabled beneficiaries’ state or federal disability benefits by preventing any inheritance from disqualifying them from receiving their benefits. This is because without the trust any inheritance would be counted as income and disqualify them.

A trust may also be something your attorney recommends if you have over two million dollars in assets. You will need to be able to inform your attorney about any real estate, bank accounts, stocks, bonds, investments, vehicles, business ownership, valuable collections, artwork or jewelry, and life insurance that you currently own. You will also need to inform your attorney if you are a beneficiary of any trust or you anticipate any inheritances as these are possible assets your estate plan would need to be able to address.

If you have questions or concerns about a Will or Trust, call Limitless Law PLLC at (360) 685-0145 or use the “Ask an Attorney” link on our website to contact us today!