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The Benefits of Creating a Will and Trust for Your Family

Understanding Wills and Trusts

To understand the benefits of creating a will and trust for your family, it is essential to differentiate between these two estate planning tools. A will is a legal document that outlines the distribution of your assets to your beneficiaries upon your death. It also designates a trusted individual to act as the executor of your estate.

A trust is an agreement in which a third party, called a trustee, holds and manages your assets on behalf of your beneficiaries. There are two main categories of trusts: revocable and irrevocable. A revocable trust can be modified at any time during your lifetime, while an irrevocable trust is a more permanent arrangement that cannot be altered once established.

Benefits of Wills and Trusts

The following are some advantages of creating a will and trust for your family:

  • Control over asset distribution: Creating a will and trust allows you to have control over your estate and ensures that your assets are distributed according to your wishes. You can designate specific beneficiaries and specify the share of inheritance each individual will receive.
  • Protection for minor children: In your will, you can appoint a guardian for your minor children in the event of your death. This legal document helps ensure that your children will be cared for by someone you trust and prevent the courts from making this decision on your behalf.
  • Safeguard family heirlooms and businesses: A trust, particularly an irrevocable trust, can be used to preserve family heirlooms, businesses, and real estate from estate taxes or creditors. By placing these assets in a trust, you can ensure that they remain protected and intact for future generations.
  • Reduce or eliminate estate taxes: For large estates, creating an irrevocable trust can be an effective way to reduce or eliminate estate taxes. By transferring your assets to an irrevocable trust, you remove them from your taxable estate, potentially saving your beneficiaries thousands or even millions of dollars in taxes.
  • Avoid probate: Assets held in a trust do not have to go through the probate process. Probate can be time-consuming, expensive, and public, creating unnecessary hassle for your beneficiaries. By placing your assets in a trust, you can help your family avoid this often arduous process.
  • Privacy: Wills are public documents filed with the probate court, which means your assets and beneficiaries can become a matter of public record. Trusts, on the other hand, provide a level of privacy because they are not subject to the same public disclosure requirements.
  • Support for disabled or financially inexperienced beneficiaries: A trust can provide ongoing financial support, management, and guidance for beneficiaries with special needs or limited financial experience. You can also establish a special needs trust to ensure that a disabled beneficiary maintains eligibility for essential government benefits.

Key Considerations in Creating a Will and Trust

While there are numerous benefits to establishing a will and trust, it is also crucial to consider the following factors when constructing your estate plan:

  • Choosing the right executor and trustee: The individuals you appoint to carry out your will and manage your trust have significant responsibilities. It is essential to choose reliable, trustworthy, and competent individuals or institutions to fulfill these roles.
  • Updating your estate plan regularly: It is crucial to review and update your estate documents regularly, especially after significant life events such as the birth of a child, marriage, or divorce. Regular updates can help ensure that your estate plan remains current and aligns with your personal and financial circumstances.
  • Communicating with your family: Open communication with your family members about your estate plan can help avoid confusion, misinterpretation, and potential conflicts after your death. Ensure that your loved ones understand your wishes and the reasons behind your estate planning decisions.
  • Seeking professional advice: Estate planning can be complex, and the legal and financial implications of your decisions are significant. Obtaining guidance from experienced professionals like attorneys, financial advisors, or accountants can ensure your estate plan is comprehensive, accurate, and compliant with the law.


Creating a will and trust for your family can provide numerous benefits, such as control over asset distribution, protection for minor children, reduced or eliminated estate taxes, and avoidance of probate. This essential estate planning tool allows you to establish a legacy and ensure your family members are well taken care of after your passing. Keep in mind the key considerations mentioned above to construct an effective and comprehensive estate plan tailored to your unique needs and circumstances. The peace of mind that comes from knowing your family's future is secure is truly invaluable.

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