Advantages of a Living Trust
A living trust is typically created by an individual to ensure easy transfer of their assets (upon their death) to their beneficiaries without them having to go through the process of probate. Within this agreement, the legal possession of the trust creator’s assets are first held within the ‘revocable trust’ during their lifetime and later transferred to the appointed beneficiaries after their death. So, then, why shouldn’t you consider a will for the same purpose? Well, here is a list of a few major advantages of a living trust that make it an invaluable aspect of your estate planning.
Advantages of a living trust
- Unlike a will that obligates the surviving heirs to go through a court-supervised legal proceeding termed as a probate, a revocable living trust proceeding is a more private affair. Upon the demise of the grantor (trust creator), the successor trustee oversees that the distribution of the assets among the beneficiaries is duly carried out.
- Since the open probate of a will is carried out in a courthouse, it becomes a largely public affair with everyone knowing about what assets you left and to whom. Your probated will is also public record. On the flipside, no one except the rightful beneficiaries is entitled to read the documents of a living trust. And therefore, a living trust protects your privacy against people who might go searching public records for more information on your asset distribution.
- Another significant advantage of a living trust over a will is that the former also offers you the opportunity to prepare an estate plan for handling your affairs in the event that you become mentally incapacitated. Your appointed successor trustee will then step in to manage your finances for you.
So, before you go ahead and decide whether you would want to chalk out a will or a living trust, it is a good idea to consult with an experienced Oakland estate planning attorney and determine as to what your purpose behind doing your estate planning is.