The most common reason for choosing a Living Trust over a Will is to avoid probate. While it’s true that probate is expensive, time consuming, and is open to the public, it may be a better option for some people.
With a Living Trust your Beneficiaries won’t pay legal fees and wait on a probate court before receiving the property left to them. Instead, you create the Living Trust while you’re alive.
The up-front cost of creating the Living Trust is usually less than the later cost of probate. If correctly prepared, and all property is transferred to the Trust, probate is avoidable.
The Living Trust option is effective when you have a responsible and trustworthy individual who is willing to act as Trustee. The Trustee holds and manages the property for the benefit of the Beneficiaries. A Trustee can also be one of the Beneficiaries.
If your estate goes through probate, the court will confirm the validity of your Will and oversees the transfer of property. If you don’t have someone you can trust to properly hold and manage the assets for the Beneficiaries, a Will with the oversight of a probate court may be a better way of ensuring that your wishes are honored.
There are also ways to effectively avoid probate involving a combination of transfer on death clauses for assets, joint tenancy, beneficiary designations, and other mechanisms. This type of estate planning may be effective for simple estates, but your estate has a greater chance of ending up in probate unless done meticulously.
There are many pros and cons to having a Living Trust versus a Will. Be advised that this area of law is complex, all family estates are different, and tax laws change. It’s important to plan your method of property transfer with the advice of a qualified attorney.
We would be honored to have a confidential discussion about your estate and personal wishes. If a Living Trust or Will is right for you, we can meet with you at your home, or you can visit our offices. After carefully preparing the documents, we will travel to your home for signing your Living Trust or Will. The Living Trust Source will answer your questions about Living Trusts and Wills.
Call (775) 502-6105