While a will is a vital part of your Tennessee estate plan, a will only does so much. Sometimes, you may have specific estate planning goals that require more than a simple will, and in some cases, you may be able to achieve these goals through creating a trust.
According to Kiplinger, trusts, contrary to popular belief, do not only benefit the wealthy. Instead, there are many scenarios in which you or your beneficiaries might benefit from you creating one. While there are limits to what you might be able to do through a traditional will, you may be able to do the following by creating one or more types of trusts.
Leave assets behind on a conditional basis
If you have a child or another beneficiary who is irresponsible with money, you may not want to give this party one lump sum when you die. Leaving him or her assets in a trust allows you to dictate when you want trust distributions made. For example, you may decide to have your trustee give the spendthrift beneficiary distributions only when he or she reaches a certain age, completes college, stays sober or what have you.
Maintain privacy and avoid probate
A trust also gives you a way to keep certain distributions out of the public eye, should you wish to do so. Furthermore, assets you enter into a trust do not go through the process of probate. This often means your beneficiaries get their hands on what you leave them in trusts faster than they would what you leave behind in a will.
These are just brief examples of some of the many things you might be able to do by including trusts in your estate plan.