Coping with the death of a loved one and the formal probate proceeding can be daunting. If the decedent's assets are not already transferring outside of probate, for example by jointly owned property, trust property, or property determined by beneficiary designation, a formal probate proceeding can seem like an absolute certainty. However, in some such cases, a formal probate proceeding may actually be avoided altogether.
When people generally talk about education trusts, they mean that the money can be used to pay for tuition and related costs at a college or a university. It is important to note that, while this is how it often works, the trust does not have to be so limited. It can be used for other educational purposes.
Estate planning does not always have to mean putting money in a trust or writing out your assets in a will to give them away after you die. You may want to gift money to your heirs before you pass away.