Why You Need A Trust

Jun 29, 2023 | Estate Planning

A trust is a financial and legal tool that secures your assets and allows for you to choose how they will be managed, both during your lifetime and in the event of your death.

Think of a trust like a jewelry box where you store your most valuable family heirlooms, or like a safety deposit box of sorts – you place your assets inside of the box and that keeps them safe from any outside wear and tear. You, who created the box of valuables, are known as the grantor, or trustor. 

However, instead of keeping the key to the box all to yourself (because what if something were to happen to you?) you also entrust a key to the care of someone you trust, known as a trustee. You or the trustee is responsible for taking care of the box (managing the assets in the trust) during your lifetime, and if something happens to you, the trustee can give the possessions inside the box (trust) to your beneficiaries according to instructions (the trust agreement) that you left behind. 

Now, a trust isn’t an actual box of course, but that’s a great way to think of it if you’re unfamiliar with the concept. When many people hear the word “trust”, they think of “trust fund babies” or other terms that suggest vast wealth, so they automatically rule it out as being something they don’t need, because they’re not particularly wealthy! 

However, there are many different types of trusts (revocable trusts, special needs trusts, charitable remainder trusts, and more) and the truth is that trusts have just as many benefits for the average middle class citizen as they do for the fabulously rich. 

Here are a few reasons why you probably need a trust! 

You Need A Trust Because Life Is Unpredictable.

The biggest reason why anyone should have a trust is because no one can predict what tomorrow holds. The unfortunate and sobering reality of life is that we’re not even guaranteed to be here tomorrow, but besides the fact that you could pass away in an accident or due to an unexpected health complication at any time, there’s a lot of other things that could happen to you besides dying. You could suffer an illness that could result in extremely expensive medical bills. You could lose your job, miss mortgage payments, and have to declare bankruptcy. You could have your identity stolen. You could be sued (this is especially a relevant risk if you are a doctor, lawyer, law enforcement, or other high-stakes professional). 

If you don’t have a trust, and something unexpected occurs, everything you have worked so hard to earn could be lost or significantly depleted. A trust can give you peace of mind that no matter what tomorrow holds, your assets will be safe!

You Need A Trust Because You Own Property. 

Why would you make a box to store your valuables in in the first place? You wouldn’t do it “just because” – you do it because you want to keep those valuables intact. If you have property – particularly if you own a home – you need to place that property in a trust to make sure it is protected from unexpected life events and will transfer to your family according to your wishes when you are no longer around to voice them. 

You Need A Trust Because You Have Family. 

Another really important reason to have a trust is to make sure that you are able to leave what you have worked for to the right people, who are likely your family members and loved ones. If you don’t have a trust, one of two things will happen when you die: either the state of Utah will determine who gets what, or your family will have to navigate a complicated court process known as probate before they can inherit. Either way, they are probably going to inherit less, and face more stress to do so, than if you would have created a trust with their best interests in mind. And speaking of probate…

You Need A Trust To Prevent Probate. 

Probate is a Utah court procedure that takes a deceased person’s assets and legally transfers them to their heirs. If you left a will behind, probate will involve validating your will and carrying out its directions, but it will still have to happen. Probate is notorious for being expensive (because of court fees), time-consuming (it can take months or even years), and confusing. There’s a ton of paperwork and official communications involved. It’s the last thing any grieving person wants to be dealing with, and it’s not something you should subject your family to. 

You know what skips probate? A trust. If you have a legally compliant, attorney-drafted trust in place, probate won’t have to occur, and your family can get their inheritance – without waiting on the legal system – directly from the trust. 

Our Utah Trust, Estate, Probate, & Tax Lawyers Can Help You Design A Customized Trust That Meets Your Needs

Making a trust is complicated – it’s something that you need a lot of legal knowledge to do correctly, or else you risk making mistakes that could render the trust invalid or expose your assets even more than they would have been had they not had any protections. 

At ProvenLaw, we have over 95 years of combined experience on our legal team assisting people just like you with creating trusts that they can have confidence in. Our firm has been rated the Best of Southern Utah for multiple years in a row! We can answer your questions about trusts and explain all of your options to you in a way that you can easily understand (not in legalese) so you can make informed, empowered choices about your finances and your legal legacy. 

Don’t fall for the misconception that you are an exception to the rule – everyone who owns property or has family needs a trust. Don’t wait until it’s too late, either! Call today to book a free consultation with us and get started. 

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