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What can a trust do for you and your family?

When a person sits down with a St. George attorney to plan their estate, they do something people are often reluctant to do: look at a world that does not include themselves. It's the world that exists after your death.

While few of us will look at the world that way for sheer pleasure, it's something we must do if we have children, a business, a home or other substantial assets.

For parents, estate-planning is simply part of our obligation to do what's best for our children. But it can be difficult to sort through all the estate-planning options available, which is why having an experienced attorney available to guide you is vital.

An experienced attorney will help you understand your many trust options, for instance, as you try to reduce possible estate taxes or gift taxes. A trust can facilitate efficient distribution of funds without putting beneficiaries through probate.

When CNN published an article on trusts a couple of years ago, it said that because "trusts are flexible, varied and complex...you should discuss (each type) thoroughly with your estate-planning attorney before setting one up." The statement was true then and holds up today as well.

There are sophisticated trusts designed to benefit grandchildren, shelter your family from estate taxes, remove your residence from your estate (enabling you to transfer it as a gift), remove life insurance from your estate (providing heirs with cash) and so on.

An attorney experienced in estate-planning can help you choose the trust most suitable to your circumstances and help ensure that your assets are distributed according to your instructions.

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