If you’re making an estate plan, you do have some control over what happens to your estate at that time. You can decide who gets which assets, for instance, or how financial accounts should be split up. You can give items away as gifts or give assets to charity.
But after you pass away, you don’t have much control anymore. Your beneficiaries simply take over the assets and move forward with their lives. But by using a trust, you may be able to give yourself a little bit more control.
Allocating resources for specific purposes
For example, perhaps you have spent your entire life saving a substantial inheritance because you know how expensive college tuition is. You also know how beneficial an education was in your life. You want to give your grandchildren a chance to get that same education, so you’ve saved money for them to pay tuition.
But if you just give them that money in your will, they may use it on anything they want. To ensure that it actually goes to education, you want to set up a trust. You can then fund the trust with the money that you saved, and you can choose a trustee who will authorize payouts in accordance with your instructions. They can either give your beneficiaries the money for college expenses or, in some cases, they could pay those tuition costs directly.
Education is merely one example to show you how trust lets you make decisions even after you pass away. But it also helps to show why it’s so important to understand all the legal options you have so you can set up an estate plan that will really accomplish your goals.