Georgia residents can use a trust as part of an estate plan in a number of different ways. For example, assets such as IRAs can be placed in a trust so they can continue to grow in value tax-free. Another advantage of a trust is that it can allow a person to specify how distributions are made. For example, a beneficiary might only receive distributions at certain ages.

The trustee is the person who manages the trust. A grantor will often appoint a close friend or family member as trustee, reasoning that this person knows the beneficiaries and will understand the grantor’s intentions for the trust. However, the drawback is that managing a trust can be both an enormous amount of work and require a level of legal and financial expertise this trustee does not have.

One of the responsibilities of the trustee is to manage assets responsibly and make wise investments. There are administrative duties as well. A better choice might be a corporate trustee. This might be a bank or a trust company. The grantor’s financial adviser could work with the corporate trustee in what is known as a corporate directed trust model to manage investment and other financial decisions.

Not everyone needs a trust as part of an estate plan, but a trust does have a number of uses, and an attorney can explain whether a trust might be the right solution in certain situations. A person also needs a will and documents that prepare others to take over the person’s financial and health care decision-making in case that person becomes incapacitated. Without these documents in place, there could be a lengthy process of a loved one becoming a guardian, and state law would determine the distribution of assets after the person’s death.