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Going beyond a will in estate planning

Most Delaware residents are aware that they need a will in order to ensure that their assets are distributed in accordance with their wishes. However, in many cases, minimal estate planning (just a will) might not be enough to make sure that surviving family members are properly cared for after death. The structure of an estate plan largely depends on the people who will be receiving an inheritance.

Some Delaware residents know that certain members of their families are not adept at finances for any number of reasons. Therefore, it might not be a good idea to leave them an inheritance outright in a will. Putting the assets into trust for that person's benefit could ensure that he or she gets the maximum benefit from them. Anyone with minor children should also consider a trust since minor children are not able to own property.

Furthermore, even if the assets are held by someone else until a child reaches the age of majority, many 18-year-olds are not able to adequately manage money. The trust can be designed to restrict distributions to certain times and in certain amounts. Trusts are a way to protect the beneficiary from his or herself.

Most people want to make sure that their family members will be provided for after they pass away. Estate planning often needs to go beyond a will in order to carry out a Delaware resident's wishes. This is one reason why it would not be advisable to create an estate plan without first understanding the options available.

Source: CNBC, "Don't drop the ball when planning your estate", Trey Smith, Sept. 13, 2016

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