What is a Living Trust?A
Living Trust is a document whereby a person known as a "Trustee" will
manage property for the benefit of another. The person who makes a
Living Trust is known as a "Settlor or Trustor." A Living Trust will
specify for whose benefit the property is being managed, a
"Beneficiary." A trust is considered a "Living" trust as it is created
and takes effect during the lifetime of the Trustor. At the Law Offices of Keith F. Carr we draft each Living Trust to fit your circumstances and wishes.
There may be more than one Trustee and
Beneficiaries. Property is transferred into the Living Trust for
management. A Living Trust is a useful tool to manage one's property and
to avoid Probate court costs and expenses.
Will you ensure that my Living Trust is valid?
Yes. Rest assured that your Living Trust will be reviewed and checked for validity and accuracy.
Do I need a Will if I have a Living Trust?Yes.
A Will will provide that all assets owned by you that have not been
included in the Living Trust will be appointed to the Living Trust.
This is known as a "Pour Over" Will.
Are you going to give me instructions as to how to execute my Living Trust?
Yes. All Living Trusts come with an Instruction Sheet as to how to execute the Living Trust.
What is the difference between a Living Trust and a Will in terms of Probate?
You can dispose of your assets by will or living
trust. Unlike a will, however, a living trust offers more flexibility
and greatly reduces probate costs.
Like a will, a living trust is designed to transfer
assets to your family members upon your death. However, you place all of
your assets in a trust during your lifetime. In your living trust, you
manage your assets as your own trustee of your trust for the benefit of
yourself as a beneficiary.
Upon your death, the living trust
continues with another trustee that you have chosen to succeed you. This
successor trustee takes over for you in maintaining or disposing of the
trust assets for the benefit of your heirs, whom you have named in the
living trust during your life.
Notice then that the living trust has provided for
continuity of your assets for the benefit of your heirs without the need
or subsequent cost of probate court. To compare this with a will in
probate court, your will must be probated in court first in order to
even take effect. In order for this first event to take place, your
estate must necessarily incur the costs and delay of filing and
publishing a petition for probate. As part of the procedure, your
executor must be appointed by the court, which entails a court hearing.
If you have an attorney, you will be paying the attorney for his or her
expertise at that hearing.
After appointment, the executor must obtain court
approval for virtually any act he takes with regard to your assets. For
instance, if he or she wishes to sell or rent your assets, the executor
must obtain court approval. And, you guessed it, court approval requires
a hearing in court and more delay. None of the delay and expense of
probate would have occurred if you had prepared your living trust.