According to American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), families in Colorado should look to trusts to fulfill their estate planning objectives rather than wills. There are several reasons why trusts may be a better legal tool than wills, the first being that wills do not take care of disability planning because they only go into effect after death. Living trusts are effective while the person is still alive and they have trustees who can make decisions about the person’s care while disabled.

Wills name beneficiaries, but before assets are distributed, families have to go to probate court. Trusts avoid this situation by putting the assets in the name of the trust where it can avoid probate. Beneficiaries still get their inheritance while avoiding disputes from unsatisfied parties that didn’t feel they got what they deserved. In addition, a will is a public document while a trust is private.

Trusts might be a better way to keep assets within a family bloodline. In a will, money and property may be subject to distribution to ex-spouses and other interested parties who make a claim on the assets but aren’t explicitly named. Trusts protect the assets from these interests because it is not technically in the name of the beneficiary. Trusts can also protect money for grandchildren when their parents are not financially responsible.

Families who want to set up a trust may benefit from support and guidance from a lawyer who specializes in estate planning. Attorneys might help a family set up a trust that protects assets from unwanted claims and collections and minimizes the tax burden for beneficiaries.