A living trust is often considered to be something that only the wealthy do, but there are some very real benefits to a living trust for anyone leaving behind assets to their family. A living trust is designed to protect the assets that you are leaving behind to your heirs while you are still alive, by creating a separate entity which manages and protects the asset. The assets are then given to your heirs once you pass.
Living Trusts Are Usually Simpler
With a living trust, you designate the inheritor of the trust and then transfer your assets into the care of that trust. From then on, you don't have to do anything; the assets will be transferred to the inheritor upon your death. A full estate plan, including a will, can be far more complex, because you need to plan for all aspects of your final wishes. If you simply want to ensure that your heirs get their inheritance, a living trust is a fast way to do it.
Living Trusts Are Kept Private
A will is a matter of public record and can be requested by anyone. This an be very distressing for your inheritors, who may not want their finances to be known. A living trust is kept private; it will not be published and no one will be able to request the information. Consequently, you'll be able to protect the privacy of your loved ones in the event that you're transferring substantial assets.
Living Trusts Avoid Probate
When an individual dies after having left behind a will, their property will usually go into probate. Probate is the process of settling the estate, whereby debts are resolved and then an inheritance is given out, as directed, to inheritors. Probate can be a fairly lengthy process. A living trust skips the process of probate entirely, giving your heirs access to their assets nearly immediately rather than after many months.
A living trust can be any amount, whether it be a few thousand dollars or a few million -- the cost of creating the trust itself is generally the same and minimal. Though it may sound complicated, living trusts are actually far less complicated than many estate plans. If you're trying to plan for your family's future today, creating a living trust may be the right choice. A trust lawyer can give you more information regarding the process and whether it might help you. Contact a law firm, such as the Wright Law Offices, PLLC, for more information.