A living trust is essentially a document that acts as a vehicle to hold all of your assets in trust for your use and benefit during your lifetime, and clearly states how such assets will be distributed upon your death. Revocable living trusts are particularly handy since they can be altered or revoked at any time while you are still alive. Moreover, you can also name yourself as the trustee of your living trust to remain in control of your assets and name successor trustee who will serve as your representative in the event of your death or if you become incapacitated. A living trust also makes things easier on those who will inherit your assets since it will not have to be handled by the courts and will allow your beneficiaries to avoid a time consuming, costly probate administration.
These are not the only benefits of a living trust, however. There are several other reasons why you should consider getting a living trust.
The Advantages of a Living Trust
Wills are public documents, which means anyone can view them and review the specifics of your estate. If privacy is important to you and your family, a living trust will protect your privacy and, unlike a will, is also far more trying to challenge in court.
As mentioned above, living trusts also allow you to the opportunity to avoid probate, effectively bypassing the court. A will must go through the lengthy probate process to ensure the individual’s taxes are paid, outstanding debts are settled, the estate is properly valued, and assets are appropriately divided amongst the heirs. Of course, a lengthier process will also translate to higher legal fees, so avoiding probate is a major advantage when it comes to living trusts.
What Can You Do with a Living Trust?
Different living trusts can address different needs, depending on the language that is used.
Below are some of the things a living trust can do:
- Protect young children until they are mature enough to manage their own finances.
- Reduce taxes through estate tax savings.
- Protect your adult children from squandering their money due to substance abuse issues or poor management.
- Ensure your assets are kept within the family or among your intended beneficiaries.
- Provide protection for you in the event of your incapacity while you are still alive by granting a successor trustee with the authority to manage your trust’s assets.
You can also set up your living trust to prevent your heirs from taking all of the assets at once if you are concerned about them making poor decisions and wasting it. Living trusts are not only for those who have a lot of wealth. If you have an extended family and expect things could potentially be complicated after your death, a living trust will simplify the situation and ensure your wishes are respected.
Create a Living Trust with Our Legal Team Today!
If you are concerned about how your assets will be handled in the aftermath of your death, consider creating a living trust to help ease the burden on your heirs and ensure everything is distributed as planned. At the Law Office of Conrad Willkomm, P.A., our estate planning team will help you create a living trust that helps you meet your goals and puts your mind at ease.
Contact our law office today at (239) 303-4040 to schedule a free case review with one of our knowledgeable attorneys.