Understanding the Advantages of a Living Trust
There are many advantages of a living trust. Some people believe the advantages of a living trust only pertain to probate matters. This is not true. Overall, there are many advantages of a living trust, from avoiding probate, to circumventing court conservatorship, protecting a person’s privacy and avoiding legal challenges. The following brief discussion reviews some of the advantages of a living trust and what it means to you as a trust settlor.
A Living Trust Offers Protection Against Legal Challenges
One of the main advantages of a living trust is that a living trust helps people avoid probate, guardianship, or court conservatorship For example, a living trust will give your loved one’s access to your assets held in trust without the estate going through court probate which could take a year or more. In other words, after the death of the trust settlor, the successor trustee of the trust can immediately distribute all the trust assets to named beneficiaries per the trust document. Keep in mind; however, any assets not in the name of the trust with a combined value over $166,250 must go through the court-supervised probate process.
Another one of the advantages of a living trust is protection in the case a trust settlor becomes incapacitated. You may not be aware, but a living trust will protect you if you become incapacitated with dementia or Alzheimers or if you are in a coma and otherwise unable to handle your affairs. In a trust, you can make special provisions to have a successor pay your bills if you are incapable or determined to be incapable of handling your finances. That is to say, a revocable living trust will protect you from a family member or close relative seeking court approval to manage or supervise your finances through court conservatorship which could last up to five to ten years.
A Living Trust Will Save You Time & Money
Another one of the advantages of having a living trust deals with saving time and money. As mentioned above, when your assets are a trust during your lifetime, the trust allows you to bypass the probate process. In this regard, your loved ones will be able to inherit your assets faster. You can also set up a special needs trust. Although a living trust may cost a bit more money to create in comparison to a last will, having a living trust fully funded will save your family time and money by avoiding the probate process and/or conservatorship or guardianship.
A Living Trust Will Protect Your Privacy
Without a doubt, keeping your assets in a living trust is a great way to protect your privacy. For example, probate is a public proceeding. As a matter of fact, anyone can go to the local courthouse and review all legal documents filed in your probate matter. The public can view the decedent’s last will filed with the court. In contrast, a living trust does not require a court filing process. Accordingly, your documents and wishes remain private and do not become a public record for everyone to view.
A Living Trust Will Force You to Get Organized
One of the most overlooked advantages of a living trust is that it forces you to organize your finance. In other words, often when someone goes through this process, they are usually better able to establish their long-term goals. Keep in mind, this review and organization process has other benefits. When creating a living trust, people review their assets, debts, and legal documents, to make sure everything is accurate and up to date. Basically, going through this process makes a person think about their future, consider whether they have the correct legal documents prepared to protect themselves should they later become incapacitated, and review the future care and needs of their loved ones upon their death.
Contact A People’s Choice for more information on the advantages of a living trust and more importantly, how to create your own living trust. It is important not to procrastinate on this important task. More importantly, since you do not need to hire an attorney to create a living trust, cost should no longer be a deterrent. You can save time and money by working with our experienced staff. Call us today at 800-747-2780.
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