3 Benefits of Living Trusts

Did you know that less than half of American adults have developed documentation as part of the estate planning process?  Binding legal agreements are critical to ensuring that your asset distribution wishes are met after your death.  The two major documents from which to choose are trusts and wills.

Depending on your financial assets, situation, and complexity, it is often appropriate to go with a living trust for estate planning purposes.  Following are 3 major benefits:

Ensure Privacy

Did you know that a will can publicly published once filed with the Court?  As it goes through probate court proceedings, it becomes a public court record.  This may pose an issue if you prefer to keep the details of your asset distribution confidential.  A living trust allows you to do this.  Because a living trust is not filed with the court, it is only available to the person who develops the document and the assigned Trustee.

Eliminate Probate

A living trust can be put to work without having to go through lengthy and potentially costly probate court proceedings.  A will, however, requires probate court proceedings to ensure that all assets are distributed as documented.  Eliminating probate proceedings will save your heirs time and money, providing faster access to funds and saving the attorney and court fees required for probate.

Protect Any Disability

A will only instructs heirs in the event of your death.  A durable Power of Attorney can be added, but this does not allow for maximum control either as not every financial institution will recognize it.  A living trust, however, provides instructions to your Trustee in the event that you become disabled, extremely ill, or incapacitated.

There are additional reasons why a living trust may be a better estate planning solution over a will, but much depends on your personal financial situation.  Be sure to discuss these matters with a trusted attorney to identify the best solution for your particular needs.  To learn more about how we can help, please contact us.