Setting up a trust in Tennessee is one of the best ways to ensure that your loved ones receive your assets after you die. If you want your spouse to get most or all of your assets, setting up a trust is a great way to protect their future. However, married couples have two options when it comes to trusts: joint trusts and separate trusts. Should you file all your assets in a joint trust, or should you divide up your assets separately?
Is a joint or separate trust better for married couples?
Joint trusts are typically the best option for married couples. When you’re discussing the topic of wills and estates with your spouse, it’s easier to simply place everything in one trust instead of deal with two separate trusts. You won’t have to file multiple tax returns or deal with higher tax brackets, and it’s much easier for the surviving spouse to sell properties that are named in the trust.
Additionally, a joint trust gives the surviving spouse more control over the funds. If you elect to write separate trusts, then when you die, your trust will become irrevocable. This severely limits the way that your spouse can use the assets in the trust. However, when you create a joint trust, the trust will not become irrevocable until after both spouses have died. The surviving spouse will have much more freedom when they receive the assets.
Should you hire an attorney when you form a trust?
A lot can go wrong during the estate planning process. An attorney may help you create a trust that protects your spouse after your death and doesn’t create any unnecessary legal issues or limitations. An attorney might also help you decide if a joint trust or separate trust is right for you.