You might think that you don’t need a trust since you don’t have a spouse or children, but trusts can be protective of you even if you’re a single person. Trusts help your estate avoid probate, so anyone who has to handle your estate if you pass away will be able to receive or distribute assets and handle other end-of-life details more easily.
There are two main reasons that single people should consider having revocable living trusts. The first is because of helping your beneficiaries avoid probate court, which can be costly and time-consuming.
The second is because a revocable living trust helps you keep your assets safe from court-supervised guardianships. If someone is appointed to care for you, you don’t necessarily want them to have access to your assets. A trust helps protect your belongings.
Why choose a revocable living trust?
The nice thing about a revocable living trust is that you can alter it when you want. You still technically own all your assets, so you can manage them as you see fit.
If you would rather have someone else be the trustee and take assets out of your name and estate, then you’d want to set up an irrevocable trust. This kind of trust offers its own protections, such as protection against creditors if you go into debt. It may be another type to consider depending on your circumstances and the amount of assets you have to protect.
With your revocable living trust, you report the trust’s income and deductions on your normal taxes. There are no special tax concerns, unlike with irrevocable trusts.
What if you don’t have beneficiaries?
Whether or not you have beneficiaries at the moment, you may benefit from having a trust set up for your estate. If you have assets you want to pass on to friends or charities, there may also be other kinds of trusts that you would benefit from using, which is why it’s a good idea to start looking into the different legal options and how they could protect you and the people you care about in the future.