Living trusts are becoming an increasingly popular addition to estate plans. Living trusts are attractive because they allow you to avoid probate – the court supervised process by which estates are administered. With a living trust, assets are transferred directly to the beneficiaries named in the trust, and the trust simply ceases to exist once all assets have been distributed.
The process of transferring assets through a living trust is often quicker than probate, and it allows those involved in the process to avoid legal fees. It is therefore a valuable supplement to your Will. You will still need a Will to provide for the distribution of any remaining assets that have not been placed into the trust at the time of your death. Your Will can also name guardians and trustees. An estate planning lawyer can advise you on the best way to use a living trust in your estate plan.
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