Unlike a will, which instructs a fiduciary to dispose of assets according to the wishes of the testator (the person who made the will), a trust provides more options for control during and after the life of the trustor (the person who made the trust). A trust becomes its own distinct entity and its assets are managed by a trustee, who is tasked with following the instructions of the trust. Trusts can serve a multitude of purposes. Some trusts distribute large sums of money in smaller amounts to beneficiaries over time to ensure the money is not spent all at once. Other trusts can be used to hold money and income for special needs individuals so that they may qualify for government assistance such as medicare or medicaid. And some trusts can even be created and used to provide care for pets after their owner has passed away. Whether or not a trust is the most effective estate planning option depends on the individual’s needs and circumstances.
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