A living trust is probably one of the best ways you can take care of your assets, especially if you own a lot of assets, the assets are in more than one jurisdiction, and if you have an extended family. In essence, a living trust allows you to distribute your assets according to your wishes, and it also helps make the distribution process seamless and painless for your heirs.
Having said that, what makes a living trust important is not just the document itself. Many benefits can be derived from having a living trust.
Here is a brief elucidation to help you understand what a living trust is and some of the advantages you can derive from a living trust.
What is a living trust?
A living trust denotes a legal document that provides clear directions on how your assets will be disbursed (and to whom) upon your death. Succinctly put, a living trust, especially, a revocable living trust, allows you to take charge of your assets during your lifetime. Essentially, this means that you can derive benefits as well as cancel or change it at any time should your personal circumstances change.
What makes a living trust important?
A living trust provides multiple benefits for the parties involved. In essence, a living trust helps:
Legal processes are often complex and tend to bring about complications. A will, for example, is a legal document that has to go through probate- often complicated. The probate is lengthy, costly, and time-consuming, to say the least.
However, a living trust can help you to bypass probate. As a private but legal document, a living trust won’t be subjected to all the court processes that a will has to undergo.
Put simply, a will is a public document while a living trust is a private document. As such, a will is open to public scrutiny so that anyone can see the details of your estate. In contrast, a living trust provides you with all the privacy you need to ensure that you distribute your assets in a manner you deem fit and, at the same time, helps you avoid the probate process altogether.