Many estate plans include at least one trust. They’re a common estate planning tool and, for some people, they provide solutions and benefits to common problems. Depending on your needs, there are typically three major benefits to using a living trust.
Anatomy Of A Trust
While there are different types of trusts, most trusts are set up as follows:
- A trustor creates and funds the trust;
- A trustee manages the trust and disbursements to beneficiaries;
- A beneficiary receives disbursements from the trust assets as set forth in the trust document.
A living trust is a revocable trust, which means the trustor can revoke or make changes to the trust.
A Living Trust Helps You Avoid A Conservatorship
When people are longer able to make financial decisions for themselves, a conservatorship may be set up by the court. Unless the individual has made other arrangements – signing a durable power of attorney, for example – a conservator will take over their financial and legal decisions.
With living trust benefits, however, the trustor can name trustees and successor trustees to handle the trust assets. Trustees named in the trust manage the assets if the trustor is no longer able to do so.
A Living Trust Gives You The Privacy A Will Does Not
When an estate goes through probate, documents filed with the court become public record. Anyone can look at them and know what your assets are and who is getting the benefits.
Trust documents usually are not part of the probate estate. The trust document and related materials remain private, then. Privacy may be of great concern to you and your heirs. If so, a trust may be one way to handle transferring assets to your beneficiaries.
A Living Trust Helps Avoid Probate
In fact, trust assets that fund a trust are passed to the beneficiaries according to the terms of the trust. Such assets, then, will not be part of your trust estate. Your heirs will have their benefits and avoid a lengthy and costly probate proceeding if you create and fund a trust.
Is A Living Trust Right For YOU?
Call us at (480) 418-8448 to discuss your estate planning options. We offer services for clients throughout Arizona, including Chandler, Gilbert, Sun Lakes, Tempe, Phoenix, Mesa, Scottsdale, and Apache Junction.