You generally use your estate plan to pass on your assets. However, you may be able to use it to pass on your personal values and things that you find important.
One way to do this is by using a trust. A trust is a financial device that allows you to set money aside, under the care of a trustee, so that it be can be used for a specific purpose. You’re still passing the money on to the heir who is named as the beneficiary of the trust, but you’re not giving it directly to them. This gives you a lot of control over exactly how that money is used.
A trust could pay for college expenses
For instance, perhaps one of your main values is education. You believe that everyone should have a world-class education and that the world would be a much better place with a highly-educated populace. You want your heirs to be able to attend college, even as it grows more and more expensive.
By using a trust, you could set some of your money aside so that it is only allowed to use be used for expenses that relate to college. Say that one of your grandchildren is in high school and about to apply to colleges, but they’re worried about what they can afford. A trust that can cover their costs allows them to pick the school that they really want to go to and to study the things that interest them, without worrying about the money. You help them embrace that same value that you hold for education.
This is just one example of how you can use a trust, and there are many options both for trusts and estate planning. Take the time to consider all of yours carefully.