Who should have a living trust?

Regardless of age or worth, you can greatly benefit from a living trust. Avoiding probate is one of the main benefits of setting up a living trust. Relieve your loved ones that you leave behind from having to struggle with the courts to settle your estate, which can take several years and drain the estate of significant funds that should be going to loves ones.

How does a trust avoid probate?

When you set up a living trust, your assets are transferred to the name of your trust, which you control.  You can revise or revoke the trust at any time during your life.  You also retain full control over your assets during your life.  At your death or incapacity, the trustee that you select handles carrying out the wishes you have specified in your living trust.

How do I save money by setting up a trust?

Probate is a lengthy process and is very costly. Fees and costs range from 3% to 8% of the estate’s value. Plus, your personal and financial affairs are subject to the court and open and available to the public.

If I have a will, why do I need a trust?

Even with a will, you must go through probate. And even with a trust, you will need what is called a “pour over” will that works like a safety device in the event that you forget to transfer any assets to the trust.

Do I need any other documents as part of my estate plan?

Every estate plan is specifically designed for each individual or family. The documents making up your estate plan will depend on your particular situation. Estate plans often include health care directives, durable powers of attorney, and other related documents.  If you own business interests, buy-sell agreements or other business succession planning documents may be necessary to protect your family’s interest in your business at your death or incapacity.

Is it expensive to set up an estate plan?

The cost to set up an estate plan is usually a fraction of the significant court and attorney costs involved with probate.

How long will it take to set up my estate plan?

Once you have made certain decisions, it only takes a few weeks to set up the plan.

What are some other benefits of a living trust?

  • Avoids probate
  • Inexpensive
  • Can reduce or eliminate taxes and other expenses at death
  • Maximum privacy
  • Prevents court control of assets
  • Quicker and more efficient distribution of assets
  • Flexible (revise or revoke at any time during life)
  • Easy to set up
  • Avoid unintentional disinheritance
  • Protect your children’s future
  • Provide for those with special needs
  • Make your own decisions about distribution of your assets and who will care for your children, instead of leaving it for the court to decide