The probate court administration process can become expensive and time consuming, but a will that defers to a living trust at death can minimize both cost and duration.
An experienced trusts and estate attorney can create a living trust, a legal document that provides flexibility while preserving your control over your estate while you are living. When paired with a pour-over will that puts your assets into the trust, this can also keep your estate and asset distribution private. Any individual who has substantial assets should discuss a living or inter vivos trust with their estate planning attorney. There are many benefits.
As The (Decatur, IL) Herald & Review’s recent article titled “The Living Trust: Your plan for your assets with the flexibility to change” notes, a will goes into effect only after a person’s death but a living trust can protect your interests if you become mentally or physically incapacitated. This trust directs how to manage your finances and provide for your needs. It also gives you considerable control, because when you act as trustee of your own revocable living trust, you’re free to buy and sell assets, amend the trust, and even cancel it at any time.
A common issue for those who establish a living trust is that they fail to fund it. This means you must move or re-title your assets like your home, property, or investment accounts into ownership by the trust.
Speak with your estate planning attorney about the wisdom of naming a co-trustee or successor trustee. You might want to consider a corporate or institutional trustee, like the trust department at your bank. A corporate fiduciary may bring experience and objectivity that a friend or a family member may not have.
Each situation is different, and an estate planning attorney will be able to explain what kind of trust is best for your family.
If you would like to create a Living Trust or would like to talk to an Attorney about your Estate Planning Options, please call our office today. (413) 527-0517
Reference: The (Decatur, IL) Herald & Review (October 17, 2016) “The Living Trust: Your plan for your assets with the flexibility to change”