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Services: Living Trusts

If the prospect of probate concerns you or your beneficiaries, a living trust might be right for you. A revocable living trust places your assets into a trust that can be used to your benefit during your lifetime; these assets are transferred to your beneficiaries after your death. Unlike a will, a living trust eliminates the necessity for probate.

 

The Benefits of Living Trusts

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Save Money in the Long Run

While it might cost more up front to create a living trust than it would to write a will, your estate will likely save money in the long run. If your estate is particularly complicated, with many different accounts or large assets, a living trust will ensure that it’s properly distributed, reducing the likelihood of contesting the distribution of assets after your death.

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Avoid Probate

Probate is an arduous process that your loved ones must endure after your death. Your assets will be swiftly distributed to your heirs per your instructions and your successor trustee will handle any debts using funds from your estate. The process will take a matter of weeks, in sharp contrast to the months (or even years) that a will takes to go through probate.

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Maintain Your Privacy

By law, a will must a part of the public record after your death. Conversely, a living trust will not be made public. Your estate will be distributed to your beneficiaries quietly, according to your wishes. Additionally, out-of-state property distributed via living trust is not subject to probate; a will requires that property to undergo probate in its own state.

How to Avoid Probate with a Living Trust

There are some important differences between revocable and irrevocable trusts, but both protect against the long and tedious probate court process which can last six months to a year, and in some cases longer.
 
Living trusts ---similar to wills -- lay out the distribution of assets, contingent upon specific conditions as outlined by the grantor which can reduce confusion and the family infighting that can sometimes lead to probate court.
 

It’s important to understand, too, the difference between a will and a trust. Probate is required regardless of whether you have created a will or not, but if the estate is part of a trust, the law does not require probate.

What does your estate plan need?

If you know you should be planning for the future, but you’re not sure what you need, use our free app to answer a few questions and receive immediate guidance as to what estate planning solutions are a good fit for you. Our app doesn’t require download so it’s fast, easy and convenient.

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How Does a Living Trust Work?

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Assess Assets

Determine which assets you’d like to place in trust; an experienced living trust attorney can help you decide if your assets are sufficient to merit a trust and which type of trust is best for you.

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Transfer Assets to Trust

The assets are placed into a living trust ---in the case of Medicaid trusts, they must be transferred five or more years before long term care is needed -- which are then considered legally separate from you personally. The trust survives your death as an independent legal entity.

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Use Assets as Needed

Depending on the type of trust you choose, you may utilize your assets to assist you throughout your lifetime. The trust will not only ensure that your assets are passed efficiently to your beneficiaries after your death, but it will protect you in the present.

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Distribute Assets

Upon your death, your beneficiaries will be awarded the remainder of your assets without the hassle and expense of probate. Regardless of the complexity of your estate, your wishes will remain private.

Do I need more than a living trust?

If you have a business and need help with succession planning, have an outdated prenuptial agreement, or have specific needs with respect to an elder, you may need additional estate planning tools to provide you with the most comprehensive legal coverage. Life care planning can be a great way to cover a broad spectrum of needs.

If you have young children, aside from ensuring assets are passed to them, you’ll need to appoint a guardian so the courts don’t make that decision for you.

If you have beloved pets, you may want to designate someone to care for them in the event of your death, and set aside funds for their care. Believe it or not, setting up a trust for a pet is a common solution, especially in the case of pets with long life expectancies.

Would you like to start the conversation about planning for your living trust?

If you have significant assets you want to protect for generations after you die, and want to control those assets during your lifetime, a living trust may be the right solution for your estate planning needs.


The attorneys at Port Legal are experts in the field of probate law and creation of living trusts, and would be happy to walk you through your options in a free, no obligation consultation. Call us at 614-641-7399, or fill out our online form to schedule a consultation today!