The Benefits of a Living Trust

The Benefits of a Living Trust

Most people think of a living trust as a document that saves your family time and money by avoiding probate after death. While that is true, there are quite a few additional benefits to creating and funding a living trust.

What is a Living Trust?

A living trust is an entity created during a Grantor’s lifetime to hold and manage assets. The “Grantor” is the person who creates the living Trust. There are two types of living trusts:

  • Revocable: Revocable living trusts are the most common. Assets are transferred into the name of the trust, but the Grantor retains the title and ability to alter them. A revocable living trust can be changed or revoked right up until the Grantor’s death. 
  • Irrevocable: The Grantor relinquishes all their control and interest in assets to the trust. Once the trust retains title to the assets, the Grantor can no longer change or revoke anything. 

The Benefits of a Living Trust

  1. Avoid Probate: Unlike a will, living trusts are not subject to the legally lengthy and often expensive probate process. Avoiding probate will relieve your loved ones of undue stress during what will already be an emotional time.
  1. Difficult to Contest: Your living trust requires you to interact with it while you are still alive, evidencing your intent and competence to manage your affairs in a particular manner. This makes contesting a living trust both rare and difficult.
  2. Successor Trustee: You (as opposed to the court) have the authority to name the person(s) who will be in charge of your estate after your death.
  3. Incapacity: You (as opposed to the court) have the authority to name the person(s) who will act for you in the event you are incapacitated.
  4. Continuity: Upon your death, a trust continues to operate uninterrupted. If you plan for income to be distributed, those distributions can be made in a timely manner. With a will, distribution is often delayed due to probate and the gathering of assets. In a trust, everything is right where it needs to be.
  5. Privacy: When a will goes through probate, it becomes a public document. Because a living trust does not go through that process, it protects your assets and wishes from becoming publicly accessible.  

There are many benefits to having a living trust in place, ultimately it is up to you to decide what is best for you and your loved ones.

How do I make a living trust?

If you’ve decided a living trust is the right option for you, you will need to hire an attorney. Hiring a professional is the best way to ensure that: 1) your assets are truly protected, 2) the trust follows current law, and 3) that your wishes are carried out legally and correctly. 

If you are looking to set up a living trust, contact a Living Trust Attorney, like Kamper & Estrada, PLLC