Trusts can be essential parts of estate plans, allowing grantors to transfer certain assets to their loved ones according to specific wishes. While there can be various benefits to having trusts as part of an estate plan, below are some of the most common advantages trusts can offer:
- Trusts can help reduce probate obligations – The assets transferred to and held by trusts (for future distribution) will not have to pass through probate in Colorado after the death of the grantor.While this can mean that trusts may facilitate the probate process in some cases, in others, it may effectively help an estate bypass probate altogether. This can be an enormous benefit, both in terms of cost savings and protecting loved ones in the future, as the costs of probate can be avoided while beneficiaries may have access to much-needed assets far sooner (because they won’t have to wait for probate).
- Trusts maintain privacy – When Colorado probate for an estate is opened, the will – and the ensuing court proceedings – will generally become part of public record. This can mean that anyone can access these records, find out the value of the estate and become familiar with other details (like how much or what was left to different beneficiaries).With trusts, however, the details of the trust’s holdings, distributions and beneficiaries will remain private (as these will not be part of court proceedings). This can be an important benefit for some families, especially those who may be in the public eye.
- Trusts can protect assets from creditors – As part of Colorado probate, creditors for an estate can seek repayment of outstanding debts. If an estate cannot satisfy those valid debt claims, creditors may be able to go after the assets of the estate to try to recoup some of the monies owed.If, however, assets are held by a trust, those assets will be off limits to creditors, protecting them for the intended beneficiaries. This can be especially beneficial for grantors who are buried in debt but who want to ensure that their loved ones have access to certain assets after they pass.
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