A living trust is not subject to probate, which means the greater the asset value of the trust, the more it will benefit you. Trusts are used to reduce or eliminate court proceedings, delays and publicity associated with probate hearings. You may also appoint yourself as the trustee, or name a successor trustee (which can be either a person or an institution) if you become unable or unwilling to do it yourself.
When you set up a trust, the assets named in the trust are transferred to the trustee (also known as funding the trust) and are then administered for your benefit as you live, and distributed when you die. Tasks, such as transferring bank accounts, stock certificates and real estate deeds can be time consuming, but generally are more cost-effective than dealing with those matters during probate.
It is also beneficial to have a trust set up should you become incapacitated or when dealing with asset management in the case of community property, or assets purchased or collected after marriage or that are part of a legal domestic partnership. Obtaining a durable power of attorney for property management is also highly recommended, as it will help when dealing with assets not transferred to a trust prior to becoming incapacitated, as well as any assets that are received afterward, and allows for the agent to act on your behalf in other financial matters until your death when the power of attorney is terminated.
King Law Firm Attorneys at Law, Inc. can advise you on what’s best for you when deciding to set up a trust.