How better estate plans, contracts and agreements can reduce stress in your life and help you prepare for a prosperous future.

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Trusts are a powerful tool in estate planning

While estate planning has become more prevalent in Washington, there are still many people who avoid the issue because they think it's too hard to deal with. They may be reluctant to face their own mortality or hesitant to stir up potential conflict within the family. Understanding the basic components of a plan can help alleviate concerns. People associate estate planning with having a will, but trusts can be valuable as well.

If one plans to have his or her assets distributed among two or more people, having a trust can simplify that process. The trust maker designates an individual to act as trustee in order to administer  the assets according to the instructions laid out in the trust document. Upon the death of the author of the trust, the trustee is responsible for administering the assets according to the instructions contained in the trust document.

A trust can  provide a great amount of flexibility and built-in protection regarding the dispensation of one's estate. It can be set up to provide for minor children and a surviving spouse with stipulations as to what occurs when children reach the age of majority or if a spouse remarries. Other options include setting aside funds for one's own use should one become physically or mentally incapacitated. These are only a few of the many features and protections that can be built into a trust.

Creating an estate plan is something all adults should undertake. While it can be done any time after one turns 18, the plans are meant to be flexible and to be reviewed and changed as a person's financial and family situations change. Consulting with an attorney experienced in creating wills and trusts in Washington can get one's plan off on the right foot.

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