Do I need a trust?

Do I need a trust?
Hi-I have legal will in existence along with a living will re medical decisions etc. I have named a niece as executor. Despite this, relatives of mine are insisting it will be to everyone’s benefit to draw up a trust. They tell me this will avoid my property getting hung up after I pass. I’m confused as to why, since I have a legal, binding will, that a trust is necessary. Or maybe I just don’t fully understand what a trust is. Help.

3 thoughts on “Do I need a trust?

  1. Re: Do I need a trust?
    Your question cannot be answered without more information about your estate and what you want to happen to it on your death. If your probable estate value is less than $1.5 million, including life insurance proceeds, estate/inheritance taxes are not an issue. Most trusts are used to minimize or avoid inheritance taxes.

    Some trusts are created to avoid probate, which can be expensive and time-consuming in some states. This is usually not a major problem in Massachusetts. Trusts can also be used to avoid exposing information about your estate to the public, since probate records are public records.

    In Massachusetts, a health care proxy designating a health care agent is the required form. You should make sure your “living will” meets Massachusetts requirements for a health care proxy. If your living will was made more than a year ago, you should have it reviewed by an attorney to make sure it meets the new HIPPA requirements for medical information disclosure.

    Raymond P. Bilodeau
    Law Office of Raymond P. Bilodeau
    13 Hackfeld Road
    Worcester, MA 01609-2201

  2. Re: Do I need a trust?
    Property you transfer into a trust during your lifetime belongs to the beneficiaries of the trust and except for shares of the trust which you reserve in your own name, shares in others names would not pass through your estate which consists of only property owned in your own name the transfer of which to the recipients you name in your will would have to await a delay of about a year until the probate was settled.

    Joseph Murray
    Joseph M. Murray, Esq.
    56 North Bedford Street
    East Bridgewater, MA 02333-1173

  3. Re: Do I need a trust?
    In short a trust helps to avoid your property passing through your estate. For large estates this becomes critcial to avoid estate taxes.

    Trusts can make the probate of your estate easier for your loved ones. However, if your estate is under 1.5 million, and your largest asset is a house, you may want to talk briefly with an attorney to review your will. There may be some very simple, inexpensive, things you can do.

    Hope this helps.

    Tom Flynn
    Law Offices of Thomas V. Flynn
    67 Mayflower Lane
    Rochester, MA 02770

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