People often ask, “do I need a trust”? The simple answer is “no.” You don’t need a trust any more than you need a bank account, or a car, or a will for that matter. I bet that answer does not help you choose to have a trust or not. Let me explain.
Do you find that having a bank account makes your life easier? There are people who have no bank account. They make it work. They cash checks at pawn shops or money stores like Amscot – with large fees. They buy money orders – with significant fees. They use cash – and sometimes get robbed.
Do you find that having a car makes your life easier? There are people who have no car. Even in Tampa Bay, they make it work. They figure out bus routes, or take taxis, or pay Uber/Lyft, or ask friends and family to drive them. They are often late because of transportation. Getting a job, and keeping it, is harder for people without a car.
Most people do not have a will. Having, or not having a will, does not make your life easier or harder – it applies only after you have died. You won’t experience the consequences of not having a will. The people you leave behind definitely experience the consequences if you do not have a will. If you die without a will (“intestate”), Florida law says who will “administer” your estate (the “personal representative”), and Florida law will distribute your assets to spouse, children, and/or blood family. Florida law may or may not be “fair” in your opinion, or the opinion of the people who survive you.
The point of comparing bank accounts, cars, and wills to trusts is this – to have or not have a trust is a choice. No one strictly needs a trust. Choosing a trust depends on whether it makes your life easier and the work of your survivors easier after your death.
There are pros and cons to having a trust – more pros than cons, in my opinion. Only you can say how much a specific “pro” impacts your circumstances and goals. Only you can say how much a specific “con” impacts those same circumstances and goals. That choice requires consultation and thought. It cannot be avoided by asking “do I need a trust” any more than it can be avoided by an advisor who says, “you don’t need a trust” or “you need a trust.”
Most of us don’t even think about whether to have a bank account. The majority of us don’t think about whether to have a car. Some people think “I should have a will” and then go out and get one. Some of the people who want a will, may also consider whether a trust is right for them. Each of these actions is a choice. The choice to have a trust, or not, requires more knowledge, thought, and consultation than the choice to have a bank account, car, or will.
If you want to consider a trust, check out the pros and cons HERE or call 727-826-0923 for a complimentary consultation to discuss how a trust may work for you.