As Ohio residents plan and discuss how to distribute their assets after they die, there are hundreds of choices to make. Some estates are fairly simple while others are complex and challenging. One thing that many estate planners can benefit from are living trusts. If you are considering a living trust, it is important that you understand the benefits of them and the difference between a revocable trust and an irrevocable one.

Forbes Magazine identifies several benefits of a living trust. If you have minor children when you make your estate plan, you can protect them with a living trust. The trust allows you to set up how they will be given the money and at what ages even after you die. This protects young children who can find themselves responsible for large assets and large sums of money long before they are ready.

While your children may be small and agreeable now, you cannot guarantee what they will grow up to be. If they are set to get a large sum of money when you die but they have begun to make poor choices, you can protect them from themselves by controlling their inheritance through a trust. There can be stipulations made for children with substance abuse issues or poor money management. With a living trust, you can hold the money throughout their lifetime and distribute it when they need it.

A living trust can also keep your family’s affairs private after you pass away. If your will goes through probate, it becomes a matter of public record, but a trust will remain a private document.

Finally, a revocable trust is one you can change and amend while you are alive. An irrevocable trust cannot be changed once it is signed, so you should be positive you have set the terms you want before signing.

This information is intended for educational purposes and should not be interpreted as legal advice.