A living trust is an estate planning vehicle that is widely utilized by people who want to facilitate time efficient asset transfers to their loved ones. It is a good alternative to a last will on this level, because a will would be admitted to the time-consuming process of probate. Assets that have been conveyed into a living trust could be distributed to the beneficiaries outside of probate.
When you fund a living trust, you convey personally held assets into the trust. To do this, you change the ownership registration on the assets that you are utilizing to fund the trust. You also list the property in the trust declaration or on a separate document called a schedule.
One of the benefits that you gain when you utilize a living trust is the ongoing versatility. You can convey additional property into the trust after you originally fund it, and since you can act as the trustee and the beneficiary while you are living, you can remove property from the trust as well.
When you create the trust declaration, you name a successor trustee to succeed you after you are gone, and you name successor beneficiaries. As we have stated, the distributions would take place outside of probate, but you have the power to instruct the successor trustee with regard to the way that you want the assets distributed. You could allow for limited incremental distributions if you do not want the beneficiaries to receive large lump sums all at once.
There is also an incapacity planning benefit. Unfortunately, many seniors become unable to handle their own finances at some point in time. While there are other causes of incapacity, Alzheimer’s disease alone is enough to get your attention when you understand the facts. The Alzheimer’s Association tells us that around 45 percent of people who are 85 years of age and up have contracted the disease.
You could account for this when you create the trust declaration by empowering the successor trustee to administer the trust in the event of your incapacitation.
Learn More About Living Trusts
If you have always thought that you should use a last will as your asset transfer vehicle, you should certainly look into the benefits that you could gain if you use a revocable living trust as an alternative. We have shared some of the basics in this blog post, but you can download our in-depth special report if you would like to obtain more comprehensive information.
This report is being offered free of charge right now, and you can access your copy quickly and easily through this website. To obtain your copy of the report, visit this page and follow the simple instructions: Free Report on Living Trusts.
If you would like to commence the process of estate planning, we can assist. Please call our office to schedule a consultation.