Maintain Control With A Trust
A living trust may avoid probate and allow you to keep control of your assets, even at a time of incapacity. When you set up a living trust, you transfer your assets to the name of your trust, which you control. Even though you no longer legally own the property, you still have the freedom to sell, spend or give away your assets while you are alive. But when you die or become incapacitated, there is nothing for the courts to control.
Kristof & Kristof, Attorneys at Law, can guide you efficiently through the process of setting up a living trust. We can also advise you at any point as to how to manage it most effectively.
Definition Of A Trust
A trust is a legal document that allows you to manage your property while you are alive. After your death, it transfers your assets to beneficiaries you name, like a will. But unlike a will, a living trust avoids probate at your death. Thus, it protects your privacy because a trust is not subject to public court proceedings like a will is.
Who Should Have A Trust?
Anyone who owns titled assets and wants to protect their loved ones from the problems of court interference at their death or incapacity is an ideal candidate for a living trust. Your age, the total value of your assets and your marital status do not matter.
You Continuously Control Assets In Your Trust
A great benefit of a living trust is that you will maintain full control of your assets in your trust. As the trustee of your revocable trust, you can do anything with your assets you could do before the trust existed. You can even revoke your revocable trust. To sum up the advantages of a living trust:
- It allows your beneficiaries to avoid probate at death.
- It avoids court control of your assets while you are incapacitated.
- It allows for maximum privacy.
- It is inexpensive and easy to set up.
- It is less expensive to administer than what probate would cost.
- Overall, it allows you more control of your assets during your lifetime while efficiently directing their control after death, too.
If I Am Incapacitated, Who Has Control Of My Assets?
As co-trustees, either you or your spouse can have immediate control if one becomes incapacitated or dies. If neither of you can act as the trustee, or if you are the only trustee, the successor trustee that you name will step in and manage your trust for you.
What Happens With A Living Trust?
- At incapacity: The person you nominate controls. Your successor trustee steps up to manage your assets and financial affairs according to your instructions, for your benefit, as long as is necessary.
- At death: There is no probate. Your successor trustee steps in to pay your debts and distribute your assets according to your instructions in your trust.
- You retain control: Your assets remain under the control of your trust, even after your incapacity and after your death.
- Maximum privacy: Since living trusts are not public records, you and your family can manage your financial affairs in privacy.
- No probate Is necessary.