Estate planning is one of the most important things you can do to protect your assets.
When planning your estate, the best way to protect your assets is with a Living Trust.
A living trust allows you to protect your assets from the unnecessary delays, costs and hassles of probate. Once your assets are transferred into your living trust, they avoid probate. A living trust can save your loved ones thousands of dollars, years of delay and the stress of court control of your assets.
Probate avoidance is one of the most significant benefits of a Living Trust.
To avoid probate and protect your assets, you (or you and your spouse) transfer your assets in to your living trust, while keeping full control over your property during your lifetime. As for real property, you can still sell it, get a loan against it or transfer it to another person. As for financial accounts, you still have complete control of the money and can do what you want with it. All assets transferred into the living trust are protected and will avoid probate.
The following are a list of the benefits of a properly-funded living trust:
- Quick and easy transfer of your assets to your loved ones after you pass away
- Management and control of your trust assets by you during your lifetime
- Avoids the long, difficult, and expensive probate process
- Avoids or reduces certain estate taxes
- Protects your privacy (as opposed to a last will, which often becomes a matter of public record)
- Can be easily revoked or amended by you at any time during your lifetime
- Can provide for “trust funds” for beneficiaries who should not receive a large sum of money or property outright when you pass away
- Much harder to contest than a last will
Another important benefit of your living trust is that if you become incapacitated, your successor trustee can manage your trust assets and continue to keep them protected for your benefit and the benefit of your loved ones. A properly prepared and funded living trust avoids the need for court interference (called a “conservatorship” proceeding) at incapacity. Most people prefer to have their assets managed by people they know and trust, instead of being placed in a court conservatorship, which is costly, time consuming, public and stressful (like probate). It is important to note that a will is of no help at incapacity because a will only goes into effect when you pass away. With a living trust, your successor trustee can manage your trust assets without the need for the court to be involved.
A living trust can be a valuable estate planning device that will help you protect your assets, avoid probate, and maintain control during your lifetime. With the assistance of an experienced estate planning attorney, you can establish your living trust now and protect your assets for your lifetime.
When you are ready to protect your assets with your living trust, call The Law Offices of Eric A. Rudolph P.C., at (760) 673-7600.