Although many people think of trusts as something only for the very wealthy, trusts are appropriate estate planning tools for a wide variety of estates, including those with modest assets.
Minnesota readers who have followed the story of Robin Williams' death may be interested in the steps the late comedian took for the disposition of his assets. Rather than relying solely on a will, Williams made use of at least one revocable trust as an estate planning instrument. The use of a revocable trust will likely grant Williams' heirs some estate tax benefits while also allowing avoidance of some complications that are common following the deaths of celebrities and other wealthy individuals. Not least among the concerns in a case like this is keeping the wishes of the deceased private. While a will is still generally considered the first and most basic document for estate planning, wills are subject to potentially arduous probate and may be made public during the process.
Deciding whether one should set up a will or a trust for particular estate planning purposes is dependent upon the circumstances. Preparing a will can be necessary to name beneficiaries, set up guardianships for minor children or even create a trust for incapacitated individuals.