WHAT IS A LIVING TRUST?
A Living Trust (“inter vivos trust”) is created during your lifetime and is revocable (capable of being changed, amended or terminated for any reason). This trust is a legal document that holds legal title to property with instructions on how to administer said property. In a living trust, you can act as your own trustee. You retain broad powers to control and use the assets of the trust. You are also the beneficiary of the trust during your lifetime. As such, you have the right to receive the income of the trust. Upon your death, the trust survives and contains instructions on how to distribute your assets.
WHY SHOULD I HAVE A LIVING TRUST?
- You can avoid probate with a living trust. You cannot avoid probate with a will alone!
- You have the opportunity with a living trust to designate beneficiaries and design how those beneficiaries will be cared for upon your death. Guardians should also be designated to care for minor children.
- If you become disabled, the trust provides for comprehensive disability planning. A successor trustee takes over control and maintenance of the trust in accordance with the instructions in the trust.
- Estate Taxes can be drastically reduced and even eliminated with a living trust.
WHAT IS PROBATE?
Probate is a legal process for managing estates and clearing title to property of an estate. Probate can be cumbersome as well as expensive.
WHEN SHOULD I ESTABLISH A LIVING TRUST?
Now! There is no reason to delay setting up a living trust whether you are single, married, have children or not. A living trust helps you to designate to whom and how your assets will be distributed upon your death. A living trust will avoid the cost and agony of probate. A living trust and the ancillary documents will establish guardians and support for your children as well as take care of you and your assets.
WHAT OTHER DOCUMENTS SHOULD ACCOMPANY A LIVING TRUST?
When you use The Flaig Law Firm, you will also receive a “Pour-Over” Will, a Certification of Trust, an Abstract of Trust, Advance Health Care Directives, Powers of Attorney , Nomination of Conservator and Guardianship (if necessary). These documents will cover assets outside of the trust, and provide direction and designation for your health, assets and property as well as care for your children.