Many people recommend setting up trusts to protect an individual’s assets and assist in the transfer of their assets upon their death, but are they really necessary in all cases? Trusts are a great tax planning tool for individuals wanting complex asset dispositions, individuals who own assets in their name only (i.e., a business), or those for whom this is a second or third marriage in which there are children from a prior marriage. These are some of the main reasons an individual would want to setup a trust.
Another simple and easy way to transfer ownership upon someone’s death is to have all of their assets in joint name or transfer on death (TOD). Immediately upon their death the assets become the property of the other person. Neither joint nor TOD ownership eliminates the need for other estate and financial planning such as the creation of a durable power of attorney in the event of the owner’s disability and planning for qualified retirement accounts.
You need to discuss this with your attorney and/or CPA to determine which type of ownership is best for your personal situation.
“As powerful as our memories are,
our dreams must be even stronger.
For when our memories outweigh
our dreams, we become old.”
William (Bill) J. Clinton – 42nd President
of the United States from 1993 – 2001