When you put together a Georgia estate plan, you likely include a will, which is arguably the most fundamental part of the plan. The will gives you a chance to outline who you want to take ownership of your assets after your death. It also gives you an opportunity to name someone a guardian over any minor children you have, should the need arise. Yet, there are limits to exactly what you might do through a will.
Per Kiplinger, if you have specific estate planning needs that a will does not allow you to accomplish, you may want to give some thought to creating a trust. There are many types of trusts, and you may want to use one or more of them to do the following.
Leave assets behind with conditions
Say you have beneficiaries who you may not want to inherit a lot of money at once. Maybe they are irresponsible with money or struggling with a substance or gambling dependency. A trust gives you a way to leave these beneficiaries assets on conditional grounds. For example, maybe a beneficiary inherits money only after completing rehab, finishing college or what have you.
Protect eligibility for public assistance
You also need to be careful leaving a beneficiary assets in a standard will if that beneficiary also collects Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income or another type of public assistance. The assets you leave in a will may make that beneficiary ineligible for these benefits due to asset limits. Yet, assets you leave in a trust do not come into play during testing for public benefits eligibility.
These are just two of many reasons you may want to consider making trusts part of your Georgia estate plan.