Important Things to Know About Living Trusts

Revocable living trusts are slowly becoming a very popular estate planning option, especially among the Baby Boomer generation. While wills are the most traditional estate planning document, more and more Americans are seeing the value of placing their assets in a trust. In addition to being one of several ways to avoid probate, living trusts may offer before-death and after-death disadvantages.

First, it is important to know what a living trust is. It is a written agreement that designates someone to be responsible for managing your property. The trust is often called a revocable living trust because at any time in your life you can cancel the trust or can change things about the trust. The conditions of the trust only become permanent after you die. As the trustee of the trust, you have the right to use your assets for any purpose your desire. You can sell them, exchange them, invest them, or do whatever else you may want with them.

There are several differences between a living trust and a will. For one, a will is often processed through probate, while a living trust is not. Trusts provide more privacy and will not become a part of public record. Trusts are often more expensive than wills, but many believe it is worth it to try and avoid the probate process.

You don't have to fund your living trust right away. It isn't necessary to fund the trust when it is created, but you can put money into whenever you please. You can also specify that you only want your trust funded upon your death, if you prefer. There are advantages to funding now and waiting, so you may want to talk with an estate planning attorney if you want more information.

One benefit to trusts is that you do not need to see an attorney when your assist change. You can add or delete property or investments from the trust at will without calling up legal assistance. You will, however, want to make sure to have an attorney on your side when you draft your trust. Without a lawyer there to help, you may make errors that deem your trust void or will have consequences you didn't foresee. It is always best to have an attorney help you to create a solid and trustworthy revocable living trust. The price to set up a living trust varies depending on your state and attorney.

If you choose to use a revocable living trust, you can be assured that your assets and your heirs will be protected if you suddenly become unable to handle your own finances. Also, a trust can sometimes be used as a substitute for a powers' of attorney. You can write your trust in a way that will pass your assets on to beneficiaries immediately when you pass away, or you can write the trust so that these assets are passed out over time in the amounts that you specify.

An attorney can help you by including tax savings clauses that help to reduce state and federal taxes when you are creating your trust. Unfortunately, trusts have no power to protect a disgruntled heir. Just like wills, trusts can be challenged by any heirs who don't believe that they got a fair amount of money from you in your case. If you are interested in exploring your options with revocable living trusts, then you need to locate a nearby estate planning attorney to help you get started. You can use this directory to find a probate attorney or estate planning attorney near you today! Contact the firm right away to get started!