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How trusts can help individuals meet estate planning goals

Georgia residents and others may be able to derive many benefits from creating a trust. Perhaps the most important benefit is the fact that assets held in a trust are typically not subject to probate. In addition to saving time and money, avoiding probate means that information about a person's finances are not revealed to the public. In many cases, assets that are held in a trust cannot be seized by creditors or taken in a divorce settlement.

This means that a child, grandchild or other beneficiary will receive his or her full inheritance. The ability to customize a trust's language can also act as a way to protect a beneficiary. For instance, those who are concerned about a child's ability to manage money could stipulate that an inheritance be distributed over several months or years. The trust might also say that distributions are to be made for specific purposes such as paying for school or buying a home.

A trust can be used to help preserve a person's legacy after he or she passes. Individuals who enjoyed donating money to charity could require that heirs donate a portion of their inheritances to the less fortunate as well. Finally, the use of a trust could minimize the chances of family infighting or other family conflicts after an individual passes away.

Creating a trust may be an effective way for a person to meet his or her estate planning goals. Ideally, an individual will create or review an estate plan with an attorney or other trusted adviser. This might help to ensure that a trust is structured properly and that it distributes assets in a manner acceptable to its creator. In some cases, trusts can be altered or revoked without the consent or knowledge of a beneficiary.

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