In the past people used wills to protect their loved ones after their death and to distribute their property to specific people that they may have had a sentimental (or practical) reason that they wanted as a matter of public record. Wills are far more famous to the general public due to movies and books, while trusts have been used by those who have a certain familiarity with attorneys and the legal system. Now that we live in an information society it is easy to bring information to the public that they can use to their benefit. Living trusts are something that is recommend over a standard will. The federal and state laws that regulate estates and property transfer are extremely complicated, especially where it comes to wills. As such the probate process to adjudicate the will and administer the property is lengthy and oftentimes produces deleterious effects on the family who just lost their loved one. Moreover, it is an expensive process and reduces the value of the estate.
Wills, living wills, living trusts, and other end of life documents are difficult to introduce to healthy people because it requires that they think about their own death or the death of people they love. In order to broach the topic, you have to remind people that as they age they will become less well and may very well end up needing care and special facilities. However, it is a fact of life that we do age and eventually die. It is better to prepare while you are younger so you don’t have to think about these things later. However, it also goes without saying that accidents unfortunately happen to young people.
Having a living trust and a living will reduces the risk for your family. Living trusts are the most common method of avoiding probate. They are sometimes called “revocable living trusts” or “revocable trusts”, in case your tax preparer mentioned them last month. These documents are a legal method of avoiding probate altogether and providing for your family members in the event, not only of your death, but also any extended illness.
It’s alway important to seek the advise of an Estate Planning Attorney to work with you to craft the appropriate Living Trust for your needs.