Estate Planning

Avoiding Probate With a Living Trust

Living Trusts vs. Wills

Unlike wills, which are automatically submitted to probate and become public record after your death, living trusts keep your assets from becoming frozen and/or parceled out by a court appointed conservator. Estate planning is an essential strategy for the protection and preferred distribution of your assets and property, and a living trust should always be included in any effective estate planning document. Speak with your certified financial advisor and attorney for more information about the details specific to your situation.

How To Create A Living Trust

You and your attorney can work together to create a living trust, and the first step is creating what is known as a declaration of trust, a legal document that names you as Trustee in charge of the trust property and then transfer some or all of your property to yourself. Following your death, the person or persons named by you as the beneficiaries (also known as the second party or successor trustee) will inherit your property without having to go through probate, since your property is technically owned by the living trust, and not you.

Types of Living Trusts

The two types of living trusts most commonly used are the basic living trust, which avoids probate and is the type dealt with in this article, and the AB trust-which allows you to avoid both probate and estate tax. Both types of living trusts help ensure that your assets and property are transferred to the beneficiary of your choice-instead of being tied up in probate.

Sound Estate Planning

A living trust is just one of the many components of a sound, comprehensive estate plan. You owe it to yourself, and your future beneficiaries to become familiar with all aspects of estate planning and other steps that you can take to ensure that your loved ones will be provided for when you are no longer able to provide for them. Make an appointment with your certified financial planner to discuss all of your options today, and take the first step towards protecting your hard-earned assets and property.

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Bill Broich is a well-known annuity expert with over 30 years of experience. He has written hundreds of articles on annuities and other financial topics, and has been a featured commentator on TV, Radio and the Internet. To follow Bill's profile, click here.