Living Trusts & Why You May Need One

A living trust is a legal document. Its purpose is to place assets in an account — a trust — for use by yourself or others. The basis for accessing assets will be instructions set by the trust owner.

Living Trusts & Why You May Need One

What Can I Put in a Living Trust?

A living trust can hold almost any type of asset. This includes, but is not limited to, bank accounts, investments, properties, vehicles and personal valuables. As the living trust owner, you can adjust the parameters of the trust. In other words, if a family member is initially allowed to remove 5% a week from the trust, you can change it to 10% or 3%.

The account, throughout your life, is revocable, so you can change or cancel it in any fashion. Upon your passing, you can turn the management of the trust over to a trustee. The best ways to streamline this process is with the counsel of professionals.

What is a Trustee?

Trustees are entities responsible for the management of a living trust. This can be a spouse, law firm, friend, adult child, etc. The trustee has control of the trust, but they are bound by your wishes. You can empower the trustee at any time during your lifetime or in a will.

If you yourself are the trustee, it’s a sound idea to have a successor should you become unable to manage the trust. There is a fee involved for the trustee as they act on your behalf.

Living Trusts Are Stress Free

The greatest advantage of a living trust is, unlike a will, there is no probate. Probate is a long and often frustrating process that involves the court determining the value of assets before transference to heirs. Another benefit of trusts over wills is living trusts are not public documents.

The best ways to find out about living trusts is through legal advisors familiar with creating and managing these financial instruments. Under the guidance of experts, a living trust will protect your family and ensures your wishes for distribution get enforced.