So now you may be wondering why you wouldn’t want a trust, if they’re so great. The power and flexibility that are inherent to trusts mean that there are more decisions that need to be made and, therefore, more opportunities for mistakes and unintended consequences. Because they are more complex, they typically take a little more work and a little more money get in place.
Also, having a trust requires ongoing maintenance. If your goal in setting up a trust is to avoid probate, you have to re-title your assets in the name of the trust. And you have to keep doing it as you replace assets or as you acquire more. And each time you move assets into your trust, you need to check in with any insurers or lenders to confirm that you don’t create any problems. If your estate isn’t that complex, this can end up being more work than going through probate would have been.
Unlike wills, which usually only require occasional updates, maintaining a trust is an ongoing project. The benefit of all that work by you is that people responsible for handling your estate when you pass away will have much less to figure out. People who have overseen the administration of estates that were built on trusts, and which avoided probate, almost always choose to set up trusts for themselves because of how easy their job turned out to be.