Missouri residents often create a will, ensuring their loved ones and favorite charities receive real estate, jewelry and other assets after their death. Without a will, the estate goes to probate, and the court distributes property as it sees fit. Although this is an excellent start to an estate plan, additional components can help cover your needs more thoroughly. We often assist clients in creating an estate plan and can help you understand how different tools can help you achieve your financial goals.
According to SmartAsset, a revocable trust can help you avoid unnecessary taxes when you pass away.
Also called an AB trust or marital trust, it can minimize federal and state estate taxes. You can bequeath your property to your spouse, who may not have to pay the estate taxes if they do not surpass the annual exemption limit. Another benefit is that assets in the trust are not subject to probate. Restrictions may limit your spouse’s income from the trust.
This type of financial instrument requires ongoing attention as someone must record the use of its contents and direct the assets as needed. Your spouse can handle these duties, or they can name a trustee.
If your assets are primarily securities and bank accounts rather than tangible property such as a house, car or artwork, a Totten trust may be a better option than the AB trust. Additional types of trusts include the following:
- Charitable trusts
- Special needs trusts
- Spendthrift trusts
These are among the options that can help you protect your estate and ensure your loved ones received the assets as you wish. The financial instruments that work best can vary as it is dependent on your specific circumstances.