Advantages of a living trust

Choosing between a will and a living trust depends on your personal preferences and what goals you want to achieve through estate planning. Some people do not think a trust is an option because there is no turning back. However, there are options to undo the trust later if needed. It is important to know that there are some distinct benefits to getting a trust. Learn about the benefits of a trust over a will.

Mental disability planning

A trust will ensure your estate is taken care of should you ever become mentally incompetent. This is an important distinction from a will because it prepares your estate in other circumstances­-not just death. Your trust can include specifications to determine if you are mentally incapacitated, such as a certification of your physician.

Your assets would not be transferred in this case, but your trustee would be able to manage your property and finances. In the case of a will, your family would have to go through the court to determine a guardian to manage your estate.

Maintain your privacy

Leaving a will means probate is necessary. Probate is a process supervised by the court that makes the passing of your estate a matter of public record. A trust avoids this process because it is a private agreement. When you die as the grantor, your successor trustee will manage the process of distributing property to beneficiaries in the trust. You can ensure your privacy by establishing a private contract through a trust.

Consider a pour-over will

When a trust is first formed, it is empty until property is transferred into it. If you forget to transfer property down the road it will be subject to probate. Dealing with omitted property can be accomplished with a pour-over will. This form of will is only concerned with property in your name that is not already in your trust. While it will still require probate, it will designate your beneficiaries and make sure your omitted property goes into the right hands.

Despite the advantages of a trust, many people still choose to create a will. For example, a trust can cost more to set up. You should take all the considerations of your estate into account when you are making your decision. Do you have minor children? Will you play an active role in managing your plan? Answering these questions will help you determine the best option for you. Contacting an estate-planning attorney can help you understand your options and what is best for your situation.

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