Most people believe that naming beneficiaries in their last will and testament is their only option for leaving property and assets to surviving loved ones at the time of their death. While this is indeed an option, perhaps a better option is to use a legal tool known as a living trust. A living trust, also known as an “inter vivos” or “revocable” trust, is a written legal document through which your assets are transferred to a trust which you control during your lifetime. At the time of your death, your assets are then transferred to your designated beneficiaries by your chosen representative.
Here are the top ways in which a living trust can help you:
- You can avoid probate: One of the greatest ways in which a living trust can benefit you and your family is that it can allow you to completely avoid the hassle and cost of probate. Even with a valid will, your estate would ordinarily have to go through probate and its associated legal proceedings before your assets would eventually be distributed, potentially taking months and costing your family thousands in legal costs. With a living trust, on the other hand, your assets are immediately transferred to your successor trustee and distributed as instructed.
- Protection against court challenges: While court challenges against wills and living trusts are rare, living trusts are largely considered to be far more difficult to attack. Since living trusts require your continued involvement after their creation, this can often be seen as evidence that you were legally competent to manage your affairs.
- You can avoid a conservatorship: In the event that you should become incapable of managing your living trust, such as through physical or mental illness, your successor trustee will be able to easily step in on your behalf. Without this authority, your family would instead be forced to go to court over the control of your financial matters – an oftentimes painful and highly public process. Most trust documents require the primary trustee to be certified as incapacitated by two physicians before the successor trustee may assume control.
Create a Living Trust Today – Dial
Nobody knows what the future holds. As such, it is important you take control and plan early to ensure your wishes are protected. At Davidov law Group, our Nassau County estate planning lawyers can eliminate the guesswork of creating a comprehensive estate plan and guide you towards a legal solution that is right for you. To find out more about how our team of top-rated Super Lawyers® can do for you, schedule your confidential case review today.