Living trusts are a critical part of many people’s estate plans. Like wills, they are a method of transferring assets to your beneficiaries after your passing. However, they have many benefits that wills do not, which is why estate planners often urge clients to set up living trusts rather than relying solely on their last will and testament.
Here are a few of the biggest reasons why you should consider using a living trust as part of your estate plan:
- Avoid probate: This is perhaps the biggest benefit associated with living trusts. The assets in the trust will bypass the probate process, which will save you a significant amount of time and money. This also has the added benefit of protecting your privacy. Any assets that go through probate are put on public record, but trusts are inherently private, meaning not just anyone will be able to look up what you left behind and to whom.
- Protect young children: If you have minor children, you can establish a living trust to hold money and assets for them until they’re capable of managing it themselves. You can give your children access to the money as soon as they reach adulthood, or you can do what many people with trusts do and spread disbursements of those assets out over time, such as every five years after the child comes of age.
- Protect adult children: Living trusts also allow you to protect any adult children you have from their own worst impulses. Say, for example, you have a child who is irresponsible with money, or has a problem with substance abuse. Your chosen trustee can continue to hold the money in trust and take charge of the distributions, or ensure your child meets certain criteria before making the distributions.
- Keep assets in the family: If your spouse remarries after you pass away, or if you have children who end up getting divorced, you can leave conditions in your trust that ensure the assets only remain with your spouse or with your children, and not their new spouses or ex-spouses.
- Protect yourself: Just as trusts can help you to protect your children of all ages, they can also help you protect yourself while you’re still alive. If you become incapacitated at some point, your successor trustee can step in and manage your trust assets on your behalf, either until you pass away or until a doctor certifies you are once again capable of managing your own affairs.
Experienced Estate Planning Attorneys
Set up a consultation regarding living trusts, both as part of your overall estate plan and to avoid probate.
These are just a few examples of some of the biggest benefits associated with living trusts and why you should consider implementing one in your estate plan. For more information, contact a skilled estate planning lawyer at Baker Law Group, P.C.