A living trust is a common tool of modern estate management. Trusts have been around since the early 19th century, even though at that time their most common use was short term, for the protection of vulnerable family members such as women, minors and those with limited mental capacity.
A living trust is popular today due to the change in the assets and investments of the average person. Many people have complex annuities, tax qualified plans and business interests. Social factors of increased wealth and stepfamilies also increase the need for more sophisticated estate planning and management.
A living trust is established and in effect during a person’s lifetime. Its main purpose is to transfer legal title to an individual’s property to someone who holds the property for the benefit of another party. The trust is amendable by the individual during his lifetime so long as he has sufficient mental capacity. Upon the individual’s incapacity or death, the trust becomes irrevocable. Prepare a living trust yourself or through a living trust provider to:
1. Avoid the need for probate court.
2. Maintain homes and other assets for the surviving spouse through a living trust.
3. Minimize estate administration costs such as inventory, accounting, appraisal and legal fees.
Find professional advice from specialists in living trusts to avoid probate courtProbate court takes time and money and a living trust allows the surviving spouse or co trustee to avoid probate entirely. Living trusts are the cornerstone for people with non-taxable estates, so they save families both time and money during difficult times. Finding the right attorney that specializes in living trusts makes avoiding probate easy.
Put together a living trust with online tools and resourcesLiving trusts are relatively easy to produce with the right online tools and forms. Do it yourself trust are also a great resource when time is an issue and a trip to the attorney's office isn't possible.
Work with living trust experts for savings on estate administration costsDuring life's most difficult moments, it's nice to know money isn't a big issue. A living trust cuts down on administrative costs by putting the surviving trustees in charge of handling the estate. Use trusted experts in living trust work for the most comprehensive plans available.
- Find living trust information through a qualified estate planning attorney. Check with your local senior center for attorneys who specialize in this area of law.
- Ask your estate planning attorney for a living trust list. This list helps walk you through the steps of preparing and finalizing your trust.
- Make sure your living trust contains all your assets. This includes life insurance, certain deeds, banks accounts and investment accounts.