Whether you are 30 or 90, planning for your estate involves some important decisions. If or when you pass on, you want your family to be well taken care of and for your final wishes to be carried out without any conflicts. One of the best ways to do this is to build a living trust in addition to a current will. Let’s take a look at the three top benefits of planning your estate with a living trust.
1) Reduce Probate Hardship on Your Family
The tradition of executing a will is so old that it is very weighed down with bureaucracy. Probate is an official delay while your will is ‘checked out’ by the courts. Unfortunately, this delay can last for months, and cause unnecessary hardship by denying inheritors access to property or bank accounts.
A living trust allows an easy transfer of property because the trust itself owns any property or accounts you put into it. Make your spouse or primary inheritor a co-trustee and they will gain automatic control upon your death. No delay, no hardship. You can even set up the trust to distribute assets to different family members based on conditions, much like a will would only faster.
2) Maintain Family Privacy in Estate Matters
Many people don’t realize this, but wills become documents of public record after they have been executed. This means anything you write in your will becomes accessible to any curious citizen or historian who cares to look up what your final wishes were. If there is anything private you want taken care of on the event of your death, you probably shouldn’t put it in your actual will.
However, you can write the terms of a living trust to take care of matters in the event of your death. Without these instructions becoming public record.
3) Limit Opportunities to Contest Your Final Wishes
Finally, a living trust cannot be contested the same way a will can. There are years of precedent for contesting wills. A relative may say they have a newer will, or that you weren’t in your right mind, or that you were coerced or tricked into re-writing your will. But a living trust is simple contract and financial law, without the mess of wills and contesting final wishes. If you want to distribute your assets without opening the door to relatives bickering, a living will is a more secure way to do this.
For more insights into how a living will can work for your final estate planning, contact us today!