If you use a last will, the will must be admitted to probate unless the estate is modest. The heirs to the estate do not receive their inheritances until the process has run its course.
In most jurisdictions, it will take close to a year for a simple case to be probated and closed by the court. More complicated cases can take considerably longer.
There are also a number of expenses that can pile up during the probate process, and they can consume a noticeable portion of the estate. This is all money that would have otherwise gone to the surviving family members.
When a revocable living trust is in place, the trustee that is named in the document can distribute assets to the beneficiaries outside of probate. As a result, the heirs receive their inheritances in a timely manner.
It is possible for a married couple to create a joint revocable living trust. This can be a good idea when most of the valuable assets are jointly owned.
There are various different ways that you could set up a joint revocable living trust. We are not going to go into every possibility here, but both parties would typically act as co-trustees.
After one spouse passes away, the surviving spouse would be the sole remaining trustee, and the survivor would administer the trust. The surviving spouse may well be the beneficiary of the decedent’s portion of the shared assets, but it is possible to name different beneficiaries.
You can also name beneficiaries of your choosing to inherit any personally owned property that you may have conveyed into the joint living trust. These beneficiaries would receive distributions after your passing.
Separate Living Trusts
Another possibility would be for each person to create a separate living trust. Under these circumstances, the death of one spouse would not impact the surviving spouse’s trust.
This could be a logical course of action if there was very little valuable shared property in play.
Living Trust Report
We have provided some very basic information in this blog post. If you would like to dig deeper, download our special reports located in the Reports section of this web site.
Schedule a Consultation
If you have questions about living trusts, we have answers. We provide consultations, and we would be glad to assist you.
To set up an appointment, simply call our office.