Many of our readers in Ohio can probably guess that no two estate plans are the same. Everyone has unique family and financial dynamics that must be accounted for in an estate plan. For some people, a simple will and some power of attorney documents are sufficient. However, for others, alternative estate planning tools may need to be considered. Trusts could be a possibility for many Ohio residents.

So, what are the basics about different types of trusts that our readers should know? Well, for starters, the clear majority of trusts, no matter their finer points, will fall into one of two categories: revocable or irrevocable. A trust is established while a person is alive, but that the terms of the trust can survive that person’s death. If the trust is established as a revocable trust, the person establishing the trust has the right to end the trust at any time, in most cases. However, if the trust is established as an irrevocable trust, the person establishing the trust does not have that option. The trust stays as it was, based on the terms upon which it was established.

The other basic point about trusts for our readers to understand is the goal of the trust. For most people, the goal is to pass on assets without those assets being subject to the probate process. After all, one of the overarching goals of estate planning is to avoid the potential for probate litigation. However, there may be other goals to consider, such as tax savings or passing assets on to a charity.

Estate plans don’t need to be complicated, but sometimes they are. Each family in Ohio will have its own factors to consider in the estate planning process, and trusts may be a good option for some.