How many of these benefits of a revocable living trust are you familiar with?
- Avoids the time and expense of probate when you die.
- Avoids multiple probates if you own assets in more than one state.
- Provides easier, more efficient administration of your estate.
- Prevents court interference at incapacity.
- Gives you and your family maximum privacy by avoiding public court processes.
- Minimizes emotional stress on your family.
- Brings all of your assets into one plan controlled by one set of instructions.
- Prevents unintentional disinheriting.
- Makes it easier to make equitable (fair) distributions to your beneficiaries.
- Lets you keep assets in the trust until your beneficiaries reach the age(s) you want them to inherit.
- Can continue longer to provide for a loved one with special needs.
- Assets can remain in the trust and be protected from beneficiaries’ creditors, spouses, divorce proceedings, irresponsible spending and future death taxes.
- Prevents the court from controlling inheritance of minor children.
- More difficult than a will to contest.
- Provides effective pre-nuptial protection.
- Can be changed or cancelled at any time.
- Allows for professional asset management with a professional trustee.
- Can include tax planning to reduce or eliminate state and/or federal estate taxes.
- Lets you keep maximum control while you are living (even if incapacitated) and after you die.
- Peace of mind.
It will probably cost more initially to set up a well-drafted living trust than to have a will prepared. One reason is that a living trust usually has more provisions because it deals with issues while you are living as well as after you die, and a will only deals with issues after you die. When comparing costs, remember that the true cost of a will must include the costs of probate when you die, of a possible conservatorship if you become incapacitated and the costs of a guardianship if you leave assets to minor children.
After weighing the costs and benefits, it is easy to see why so many people and professionals prefer a living trust.