By now you know that estate planning is essential. A secure estate plan protects your legacy and can give you and your family peace of mind. But smart, thoughtful estate planning can also save your family time, money and stress.

If you take the right steps, your estate plan can help your family in several more ways. Including a trust in your estate plan helps for several reasons.

Avoiding Probate

Usually, the main reason people decide to create a trust is because it can help your loved ones avoid going through the probate process with your estate. This process is extremely time consuming and can be expensive. Putting your assets in a trust transfers them to your beneficiaries before you die, or to a trust itself, allowing them to bypass the probate process. This can save your family a lot of time and stress, so they can focus on more important things.

Control

The control that a trust grants is another advantage of this type of estate planning tool. Trusts allow the grantor to specific the conditions for receipt, so you have more say in what happens to your assets even after you die. For example, you can spread payment over a period of time, or specify how the money should be used such as for college tuition.

Efficient

Trusts can also be more efficient by protecting your assets from creditors and reducing estate taxes. When you put your assets in a trust, depending on the type, they can reduce the size of your estate, thus reducing the amount of estate tax and shielding these assets from collection.

Trusts can help supplement your estate plan and strengthen it. These are just a few of the main benefits a trust can offer you and your loved ones. An experienced estate planning attorney can tell you more if you think a trust can benefit you.