The Living Trust allows you to choose who manages your assets during your lifetime, even if you become incapacitated, and even after your death. That is a lot of control!
You may choose to name yourself as the trustee with the provision that a successor trustee takes over if you become unable to manage for yourself in case of incapacity or death. This is known as a revocable trust and it has the advantage of giving you the most freedom of choice during your lifetime.
Unlike a will, the Living Trust does not have to go through probate and there is no open record of its contents.
A Living Trust can hold all of your assets regardless of how you want them used or distributed. This can simplify management and allow for differences in how the assets are distributed to each beneficiary. Perhaps one child is already of an age and ability to manage his or her share of the funds. Another is younger or has a disability that would necessitate having someone else manage this share of the inheritance. The Living Trust is extremely useful in arranging things to work the way you want them to during your lifetime and after your death.
The Living Will can be crafted to protect assets from creditors, lawsuits, divorce settlements, and it is more difficult to challenge than a simple will.
It can keep you or your beneficiaries from being disqualified for government benefits. Sometimes these are called Supplemental Needs Trusts or Special Needs Trusts. If you want trust funds to be outside of “countable assets” when applying for government benefits such as Medicaid you may need to choose an irrevocable trust, which means the beneficiary could not be the trustee. Such a trust should be crafted by a professional that is experienced with government benefits.
Provides Easier Transitions
Although a Living Trust may cost more than a simple will to create, there are savings later. For example a successor trustee can step in to keep a business running, pay the family’s bills, or make decisions on your behalf in case of incapacity. It would not be necessary to go to court to obtain guardianship. In the event of your death, the trustee could manage the trust and distribute funds according to your instructions. At a time when your family is grieving, it is an incredible gift to save them the time, money and the stressful process of probate.
Even if you have a will in place call us at 940-387-8800 to reserve a place in one of our enjoyable seminars that are packed with valuable information about Living Trusts. If you prefer, you can call to make an appointment. We will go over your existing plans and help you determine if a living trust might be right for you and your family.