Is a Living Trust A Good Option For You?

Is a Living Trust A Good Option For You?

When deciding how you are going to leave your property to others after you pass on, you have a few different types of legal documents that you can choose from. Most people choose to use a will, but in some cases, a living trust might be a better option. Here are a few things to consider that can help you decide which one is a better fit for you. It is also helpful to consult with an attorney who specializes in living trusts and wills if you need further guidance.

Living trusts allow you to leave a property to a trustee while you are still alive. This differs from a will, which can only be put into effect upon your death. Living trusts are quite different than wills in that they are more specific with the types of items that you can and cannot include in them.

Many people choose to create a living trust instead of a will because it does not need to go through probate court the way a will would. When a will is distributed, it must go through the process of probate court and be handled by an executor, so it can take a very long time before the beneficiaries actually have access to their property. This can be problematic in many cases, particularly if you are leaving finances, ownership of a business, or property that needs upkeep. Living trusts allow you to rest easy, knowing that your property will be distributed easily before your death, when you specify.

With a living trust, everything in the trust goes directly to one trustee. The trustee can then act as an executor of sorts, distributing your assets as necessary. A living trust also allows you to specify a guardian for your minor children and a caretaker for your pets, just as a will would, which is a very notable feature. However, it is important to keep in mind that since the will does not go through probate court, there is no legal guarantee that your assets will be distributed according to your wishes. Because of this, you need to be absolutely sure that you can trust your trustee to distribute things accordingly.

Living trusts are slightly more expensive than wills to create in the beginning, as they are more complex and generally require legal advice, whereas wills can be created on your own very easily. However, when they need to be put into action, a living trust can save you money, as you will not need to pay probate court costs or other costs, and you can make your trustee the financial benefactor of insurance plans or other financial accounts to make the process of your death and the distribution of your assets much less stressful.

Finally, living trusts are much more private than wills, which make them ideal if you are very concerned about your death receiving public scrutiny. This is why living trusts are a popular choice with those who have complex financial situations, or who need to leave businesses or valuable properties to those in their family. Living trusts are not scrutinized by the court or the public, and everything is left for the trustee to handle.

If you have someone in your life that you would like to be your trustee, then a living trust is likely a great option for you. It can save you money and help keep your family’s affairs private, which will reduce stress for them during a time that is already quite stressful. Ideally, your trustee should be someone who is highly capable of handling big responsibilities, like an adult child or other younger family member.

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