If you are like many North Carolinians, you may believe trusts are something only the wealthiest individuals establish. After all, popular culture has had a field day with trust-fund pseudo-celebrities. Still, if you want to protect your hard-earned assets or give someone a bit of financial help, setting up a trust may be the right course of action.
In simple terms, a trust is a special kind of fiduciary arrangement that enables a third-party trustee to hold wealth for the benefit of one or more individuals. Even though they may seem elitist, trusts are valuable estate planning tools for middle-income North Carolinians.
The many objectives of a trust
Flexibility is one of the more appealing reasons to form a trust. In fact, depending on the type of trust you choose to set up, you can accomplish one or more of the following objectives:
- Distributing your assets to your heirs
- Avoiding the headaches that often come with probate
- Making gifts to your favorite charities
- Improving the quality of life for relatives with disabilities or other special needs
- Safeguarding your wealth from creditors
- Minimizing estate taxes
Your ability to remain in control
Transferring your assets into a trust could make you feel uneasy, as you may worry about losing control of your wealth. However, you can choose to create a revocable trust. With this type of trust, your ability to make changes allows you to remain in full control.
Ultimately, if you are looking to maintain control of assets while enjoying the benefits of a trust, you may want to explore your options for establishing a revocable trust as part of your overall estate plan.