July 12, 2016
How a Living Trust Can Benefit You and Your Family
As we age, it is common to want to have our arrangements and affairs in order so that our families are taken care of when we are gone. These preparations often include the creation of legal documents that determine what will happen to one’s assets and belongings after your death. If you are currently considering making these preparations, then it is likely that you are debating whether a will or a living trust is the right option for you. While each of these options provides certain benefits, here are a few of the reasons why you should consider creating a living trust.
Plan for Your Future
One of the benefits that a living trust provides over a traditional will is that it can benefit you while you are alive. As you age, the odds increase that declining health will prevent you from being able to make financial decisions for yourself. With a living trust, you can appoint a trustee who will be able to handle your finances should you become incapacitated and/or unable to care for yourself. Thusly, while a will does not go into effect until after one’s death, a living trust can work to protect and benefit you as you age.
Help Your Loved Ones Avoid Probate
Perhaps one of the most beneficial reasons to consider creating a living trust is to help your loved ones avoid probate. When an individual who does not have a living will passes, the individual’s family then must go through probate court in order to determine who gets what possessions and assets. Probate court can end up being a long, drawn out process that can add stress to an already difficult and emotional time for your loved ones. By creating a living trust, it is more likely that your loved one’s will be able to avoid probate than with the creation of a will. Furthermore, creating a living trust gives you complete control over where your possessions and assets will end up after you pass. You can even create stipulations in your trust that donates a percentage of your assets to your favorite charitable organization.
Avoid Your Will Being Contested
As you have likely heard, it is extremely common and simple for an individual to contest their loved ones will. This is due to the fact that a will is a document that is created on a single occasion and does not go into effect until a person dies. A living trust on the other hand goes into effect as soon as it is signed. Thusly, a disgruntled family member simply has to argue that you were either incompetent or under influence at the moment a will was signed in order to contest your will. On the other hand, in order to contest a living trust, the contester must be able to prove that you were not only incompetent or under influence when the original trust was signed, but they must also be able to prove this for each time a property or asset was transferred into the trust. The contester must also be able to prove you incompetence for each financial decision made in the trust prior to your death. This makes contesting a trust a lengthy, costly, and complicated process that is nearly impossible to achieve. Thusly, choosing to create a living trust will better help to ensure your assets go where you desire after you pass.
While the creation of a will can help to ensure that your belongs and assets go where you desire after your death, a living trust does a better job at protecting your wishes and your family after you pass. While we have discussed here a few of the benefits that a living trust can provide you and your family with, there are many more reasons to consider creating a living trust. Contact us to find out about more of the reasons why you should consider creating a living trust.