If you are in the beginning stages of estate planning, you may be assuming that a will alone will take care of all issues regarding the distribution of your assets upon your death. While this is true in many cases, you may also want to consider creating a living trust. A legal and enforceable document once signed by you, it can be revocable or irrevocable, and can allow your will to essentially transfer any assets that are in your name to the trust itself, where the carrying out of your final wishes will be handled by the trustee you have put in charge of the process. As to why this may be a smart choice for your estate, here are some of the most common reasons.
More than anything, a living trust will allow you to avoid probate. This is because your assets are put into the trust while you are still alive, rather than having to wait for your will to do this upon your passing.
Ensures Greater Privacy
When any will is probated, it then becomes a matter of public record, meaning anyone has access to what transpired. However, this won’t be the case if you create a living trust with an estate planning attorney. Since this is a private document, nobody will have access to such information as the value of your assets or an inventory of your assets.
Keeps Assets in Your Family
By creating a living trust, you will be able to make sure your assets stay within your own family. For example, if you have a child who is preparing to marry someone of whom you are not fond, your living trust can ensure your new son or daughter-in-law will not be able to receive any of your assets should the couple later divorce.
Reduced Estate Taxes
If there is one thing that can eat away at the value of your estate upon your death, it is estate taxes. Thus, most people want to do all they can to reduce these taxes as much as possible. By creating a living trust, you can do just that. Especially important if you are married, having a living trust in place will likely save thousands of dollars in estate taxes upon the death of the surviving spouse.
Since you will have many questions about the pros and cons of a living trust, always consult with an attorney who specializes in estate planning before making any final decisions.
Author information: Anica Oaks is a professional content and copywriter who graduated from the University of San Francisco. She loves dogs, the ocean, and anything outdoor-related. She was raised in a big family, so she’s used to putting things to a vote. Also, cartwheels are her specialty. You can connect with Anica here.