A trust instead of a will could be the right choice for some people in Ohio who are creating an estate plan. A trust can offer more privacy and can distribute assets to beneficiaries more quickly because it does not have to pass through probate as a will does. However, a trust can also hold assets if there are reasons a beneficiary should not immediately receive them.

For example, if a beneficiary has special needs and receives government benefits as a result, getting an inheritance could mean an end to that assistance. A trust can be set up to provide for a loved one with special needs, but since the assets remain in the trust’s name, the government benefits are still available. Another situation could be one in which a beneficiary is a young adult and likely to be irresponsible with money. A trust might stipulate that the beneficiary should be 35 or some other age before receiving distributions. A trustee could also be put in charge of periodically making distributions. Some types of trusts do not permit creditors to seize assets. A trust could also be set up to provide in-home or nursing home care.

A person may want a revocable or irrevocable trust. Trusts may go into effect when they are signed while wills only do so at a person’s death.

People may want to contact an attorney about these and other estate planning questions. A will might still be the right choice for a fairly straightforward estate. People with blended families, including children from previous relationships, may want to be particularly careful that everyone is included in the estate plan. It can be easy to overlook documents such as beneficiary designations, which override wills and trusts that might have outdated choices for beneficiaries. All estate planning documents should be reviewed periodically to keep them updated.