Many people assume that a Will is the best choice if you are not extremely wealthy, but there are many good reasons why you may want to use a living trust instead. Let’s look at the facts.
Living Trust Advantages
A living trust can provide benefits that a Will would not.
You have more flexibility with regard to the way that the assets will be distributed if you use a living trust. With a Will, you name inheritors, and they will typically receive lump sum inheritances. This can be troublesome if you have loved ones who are not particularly good at money management.
There are other possibilities if you establish a living trust. When you create the trust, you leave behind instructions in the trust declaration. If you want to, you could instruct the trustee to distribute only the earnings of the trust on an incremental basis. The principal could remain intact, and you could allow for portions of the principal to be distributed when certain circumstances exist.
Another advantage that you gain when you establish a living trust that would not exist if you use a Will is the ability to address possible latter life incapacity. A significant percentage of elders become unable to handle their finances eventually, and Alzheimer’s disease is a leading culprit. The disease strikes around 45 percent of people who are at least 85.
With a Will you have no inherent mechanism in place to respond to incapacity while you are living. On the other hand, if you use a living trust as the centerpiece of your estate plan, you can name a disability trustee to manage the trust in the event of your incapacitation.
Probate avoidance is another huge factor. If a Will is used to transfer personally held property, it must be admitted to probate after the death of the testator unless it is a small estate. The heirs don’t receive inheritances during this process, and it expensive and time-consuming. At minimum it will often take close to a year, and more complicated cases can take considerably longer.
Assets that are contained within a revocable living trust can be distributed to the beneficiaries in a more timely and efficient manner outside of probate.
A Will can be challenged during probate, but it is often more difficult to challenge the terms of a living trust, and this is another advantage.
Obtain More Detailed Information
We have prepared an in-depth special report on revocable living trusts, and we also have a report that covers last Wills. These reports are being offered free of charge, and you can access your copy quickly and easily through this website.