In this Elder Law Minute, Wes Coulson explains why living trusts are important.
Hi! I’m Wes Coulson from Coulson Elder Law, proudly serving clients throughout the St. Louis metropolitan area and beyond. I’d like to welcome you to our Elder Law and Estate Planning Minute. We do these to help educate people, give them some little tips, and especially to let them know the questions they need to ask, things that they’ve maybe not thought of. Our thought on that is that we can help you best if you realize the things that you need help and that we can help you with. So I hope you enjoy. Thanks!
If you’ve watched many of our other videos, you’ve probably already realized that I am a big fan of living trusts as a primary estate planning vehicle. Let me mention one situation in which it’s particularly important to use the living trust, and that is when you have any intended beneficiaries who are either minors, and I’m going to use that in a sense of not only not adult age but also not old and wise enough to be trusted to manage their own money, or special needs beneficiaries. In the case of those beneficiaries, there are two huge advantages of a living trust.
First, if you have a will instead, or you don’t have anything, your estate is going to go through probate and until that probate process is concluded, if you’re lucky the better part of a year later, you can’t get money out of the estate to beneficiaries. I’m sorry if you have a special needs child, or a six year old child, they need assistance immediately and with a living trust there is continuity, there’s immediate access to funds.
The other big advantage is being able to protect that money for their benefit. If the beneficiaries are under 18 and you leave it to them without a trust, there’s going to have to be a guardianship to manage that money. Really expensive, you don’t want to go there. And, even if they’re older, as I always like to say, who do you want deciding whether the inheritance you’ve left for a young person is going to be spent on college, on the one hand, or a hot car, or the ultimate shopping spree at the mall, on the other. So, young beneficiaries are kind of notorious for, kind of, here today, gone tomorrow, want money, and really when you leave a young person, or a special needs person, an inheritance, that needs not to be a short term proposition, that needs to be a long term proposition. Where you’ve provided for their well-being over a period of time.
So, if you minor, or special needs, beneficiaries, use a living trust. We’ll be happy to help you get that done. Thanks!
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Coulson Elder Law is dedicated to providing families in the St. Louis area with their Elder Law needs. Our practice areas include Asset Preservation Planning, Veterans Benefits, Medicaid Eligibility, Alzheimer’s Planning, Special Needs Planning, Estate Planning and more. We understand the financial challenges you may face as you and your loved ones grow older. At Coulson Elder Law, our clients’ well-being is our number one priority. For immediate help, call (618) 632-7000 (IL) or (314) 567-9292 (MO), or Contact Us and we will get in touch as soon as possible.