According to the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), individuals in North Carolina and throughout the country should have a trust instead of a will. Trusts are separate entities that hold assets for the benefit of one or more individuals. Therefore, there is no need to go through probate when an individual dies, and there is no possibility of a will contest from a family member or other party.
The details of a trust are not made available to the public, which means that information about a family’s assets is not disclosed. Putting items into a trust may eliminate the need to go through probate in multiple states. This could occur if an individual lived in one state but owned property in another. It may be best to leave money for minor children or grandchildren using this tool as opposed to leaving it to them directly.
Assets that are held in a trust are generally protected in a divorce, which means that they are more likely to pass to future generations. Assets are also protected if a parent gets remarried and then dies. This is because the language in the trust dictates what happens to money in an account or other property that it holds. Without this document, money would be left to the surviving spouse who could give it to his or her own children instead.
Although wills can be an effective estate planning tool, they may not be enough on their own. The use of a trust or other documents may offer greater asset protection in the event that a person becomes incapacitated or passes away. It may also allow parents to provide for their children if they die or are otherwise unable to care for them for any reason.