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Is It A Benefit To You To Have A Living Trust In Your Estate Plan?

There certainly are advantages to a living trust. However, whether it is the right decision to incorporate a living trust into your estate plan requires an analysis of your unique circumstances. Just like most things in life, it’s not one size fits all. You may come in wanting some level of planning but what is going to work with your objectives of transferring your assets, planning for estate taxes or incapacity, or surrendering total or partial control over your assets is going to depend upon your end goals. It all begins with an inquiry into your situation and exploring various legal avenues in achieving your intended goals.

A revocable living trust is one vehicle that may assist you in obtaining your objectives. It can help in maintaining continuity in the management of assets should you become incapacitated. Although the revocable trust by itself has no effect on your estate taxes, it can be a conduit for engaging in some estate tax planning.

Trusts are also often used to avoid probate. What does that mean? It means that heirs do not have to go to court to transfer the assets of a loved one after he or she has passed away. The probate process also becomes a public record which some clients want to avoid and maintain their privacy. A trust also may help avoid litigation over your estate. The key, however, is to set up the trust correctly. There is no point in setting up a trust that will not achieve the intended result and will cause your plan to fail.

Lack of planning can lead to unintended consequences. A revocable trust is a good option for some clients. It must be drafted clearly and with care so your interests are being served well. If you want to discuss whether such a trust is viable for your estate planning needs, call us so we can help you decide.