Five Things to Keep in Mind About Trusts

By The Care Centers.

As you grow older, there are certain things you have to consider, including estate planning. If you are going to move into a nursing home or you are shopping for retirement communities, then these matters become all the more important. When it comes to estate planning, most people immediately assume they need a will, and that is certainly one option, but another would be trusts. There are different names that all refer to the same thing: revocable trusts, living trusts, inter vivos trust and loving trusts. Essentially, a trust explains what you want to happen if you become ill, disabled, or unable to make your own decisions. This would include your assets as well as medical decisions for yourself. They are called revocable trusts because they allow you to change or revoke them in the future if you want to. Here are some things to keep in mind about trusts and how to use them. 

The Difference between a Will and a Trust

Trusts are more complicated, and they are most often used in order to handle larger estates. For most small estates, a will is enough. However, if you want to give specific inheritance instructions about a very large estate, then a trust is the right option. 

You Need Either a Will or a Trust

You need one or another in order to ensure your estate is handled properly after you are gone. Additionally, if you don’t have a living will or living trust, then people won’t know what to do if you become incapacitated. This will mean that you have to leave very difficult questions and decisions for your loved ones and that isn’t something you will want to do. 

The Trustee’s Role

A trustee is someone who will handle the trust should something happen to you. This person can manage your estate. Usually, you will want to name a spouse or a child to this position, but make sure you choose someone who is mentally competent and who you can trust. 

Consider Funding Your Trust

You don’t have to, but by funding your trust, you can essentially ensure the money goes where you want it to. This gives you more control over the outcome of your assets than you would have otherwise. 

Know That You Can Make Asset Changes

You don’t even have to see an attorney if you need to make changes to your assets within the trust. You can do this at any time or revoke the trust if you would like. 

If you choose, you can use a trust as a part of your estate instead of a will. If you would like to learn more about wills and living wills, then see this article (Wills That You Need as You Age). If you want to find out more about power of attorney and its role in estate planning, then see this article (Four Questions You Need Answered about Power of Attorney). It is vital to get all of these details in order before you move into a nursing home or assisted living facility so that you will not run into any issues, especially when it has to do with your medical directives. 

Tags: Geriatric care