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Consider establishing a trust for your loved one

LEGAL

What You Should Know

Certainly, your loved one should have a will to ensure that their assets are distributed according to their wishes without delay, upon death. But a trust can be very helpful if your loved one becomes unable to handle their affairs.

A trust, in legal terms, is a contract between your loved one and someone they trust (the trustee) to manage assets. Generally speaking, it directs the management of assets during life, and then the distribution of those assets after death.

A key benefit of a trust is avoiding probate. Even with a valid will, your loved one’s estate will go through probate (the court proceedings through which their assets are distributed according to their wishes). This may take months or even years, A trust, however, does not go through probate, so the assets can be distributed within weeks.

Steps To Take

  • Get a basic overview of wills and trusts by reading the articles linked above and in the Related Tasks section below.
  • Consult an experienced eldercare attorney to decide what's best for your situation.
  • If you establish a trust, make sure the will is written to coordinate seamlessly with it.
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