The estate planning tools that Arkansas residents use may differ depending on the specific details of their estates and their lives. However, it is usually a beneficial step to consider using trusts as part of these plans. This tool can provide a greater sense of control over assets while also providing extra protection.
When creating a trust, rather than simply leaving the assets directly to the beneficiaries of the trust, individuals can give the designated trustee discretion over when the assets should be distributed. This step can often help ensure that beneficiaries do not use the assets irresponsibly. When a trustee has discretion over distributing assets, it is possible that he or she ends up with full control. If parties do not want this to happen, they may wish to leave specific instructions under which the trustee must work while also using his or her discretion.
In addition to a trustee, a person could also appoint a trust protector. This person does not have the same powers or responsibilities as the trustee but does have certain powers. For instance, if an unanticipated issue with the trust comes about, the trustee protector could have the ability to effectively handle the issue, even if that means removing the trustee.
Trusts can certainly be complex estate planning tools, but the complexities of them make them even better at protecting assets. Some Arkansas residents may feel a bit intimidated by the idea of using this planning tool, but that does not have to be the case. Interested parties can learn more about this option by discussing uses and need with local attorneys.