North Carolina residents or anyone else with assets should consider creating an estate plan. Doing so may provide a level of control over who gets cash inside of a 401k or who gets ownership of a house. An estate plan may also protect beneficiaries who aren’t good at managing money from potentially squandering their inheritance. A trust may be an effective tool that may create guidelines for how an inheritance should be used.

Trusts have many benefits such as helping an estate avoid probate or acting as a way to minimize estate taxes. In some cases, using beneficiary designations may be a cost effective alternative to creating a trust. However, if a beneficiary designation is used, it will overrule language in a will related to who gets funds from an IRA or bank account. An IRA trust may offer protection from creditors as well as oversight from a beneficiary.

Those who have questions about wills, trusts or other estate plan documents may want to talk with a financial adviser. Currently, only 40 percent of Americans have a will while only 17 percent have a trust according to a report from WealthCounsel. This is partially because most Americans think that estate planning is confusing. Talking to someone who has experience with wills and trusts may make it easier to create a plan that fits a person’s needs.

A trust may be an effective estate planning tool for many people looking to protect assets now and in the future. An attorney may be able to talk more about how to create a trust or the different types that may be available. If a person already has a trust, an attorney may be able to review it. This may increase the odds that it still meets a person’s needs.