You are currently viewing Estate Planning – Why have a Trust

Estate Planning – Why have a Trust

Written by Christopher Price


Estate planning is one of the six crucial aspects of financial management. A correct estate plan should ensure your assets are distributed according to your wishes after you pass away. You may be thinking “I have a Will, I am good.” And this may be true, but my time as financial advisor has shown me that this common tool is not the best way to distribute your assets when you pass away. You should be looking at setting up a trust. Below are six advantages to using a properly designed trust, instead a Will, to optimize the transfer of wealth and streamline the distribution process.

Privacy and Avoidance of Probate:

One of the primary advantages of a Trust is the privacy it affords. When a Will goes through probate, the details become part of the PUBLIC RECORD. In contrast, trusts operate outside of probate, providing a more discreet way to transfer assets. This privacy can be particularly appealing for those who prefer to keep their financial matters confidential.

Faster Distribution of Assets:

Probate proceedings can be a lengthy and time-consuming process, often taking months or even years to complete. Trusts, on the other hand, allow for a quicker distribution of assets to beneficiaries. This can be especially beneficial in situations where immediate financial needs must be addressed or when a smooth transition of business interests is essential.

Flexibility in Asset Management:

Trusts provide a high degree of flexibility in managing and distributing assets. With a trust, you can stipulate specific conditions for the distribution of assets, such as age-related milestones or educational achievements for beneficiaries. This flexibility allows you to tailor the distribution to the unique needs and circumstances of your heirs. One of my favorite conditions is a blood line provision, this means the asset will follow your blood line and will not be split up due to divorce. Another one I like is a spend thrift provisions, which can do a lot, but one of the protections this provides is against creditors that your beneficiaries may have.  With a Will, as soon as the asset is in their names, you lose all flexibility of that asset, and your beneficiaries loses all protection they could have had if there was a trust in place.

Continuity of Management:

In the event of incapacity, a trust can ensure a seamless transition of management for your assets. Designating a successor trustee enables the trust to continue operating without interruption, avoiding the need for court-appointed guardianship. This continuity is crucial for maintaining the financial stability and well-being of your estate.

Creditor Protection:

Certain types of trusts, such as irrevocable trusts, can provide a level of protection against creditors. By placing assets into an irrevocable trust, those assets may be shielded from potential creditors during your lifetime and after your passing. This can be a valuable strategy for protecting your legacy for future generations.

Tax Efficiency:

Trusts can be structured to provide tax advantages for both the grantor and beneficiaries. For instance, certain trusts may minimize estate taxes, ensuring that more of your wealth goes to your intended beneficiaries rather than to the government. Professional advice is essential to structure trusts in a tax-efficient manner based on individual circumstances.


In the realm of estate planning, choosing between a Will and a Trust requires careful consideration of your specific goals and circumstances. While Wills serve a valuable purpose, the advantages of a Trust, including privacy, efficiency, flexibility, continuity, creditor protection, and tax efficiency, make it an attractive option for many individuals seeking a more comprehensive and tailored approach to managing their legacy. Consulting with a qualified estate planning professional can help you navigate the complexities of trusts and ensure that your wishes are carried out effectively.

Representatives do not provide tax and/or legal advice.  Any discussion of taxes is for general informational purposes only, does not purport to be complete or cover every situation, and should not be construed as legal, tax or accounting advice.  Clients should confer with their qualified legal, tax and accounting advisors as appropriate. 

Securities and investment advisory services offered through qualified registered representatives of MML Investors Services, LLC. Member SIPC.

1000 Corporate Drive, Floor 7 Fort Lauderdale, FL 33334
Telephone # (954) 938-8800