Most people know they should plan for their death, but very few people actually take the time to do this planning. As a matter of fact, recent studies showed only 4 out of 10 Americans have a will or living trust. The reasons for not planning for your death could be a variety of things, including lack of knowledge, understanding, or time. However, help is available from estate planning services if you are ready to get organized to help the loved ones you will leave behind. Here are a few benefits of having a living trust.
Reduces Need for Probate
A living trust, which is also known as a revocable trust, reduces the need for probate. If you have never experienced the stress and time involved with the probate process, you may not understand how beneficial a living trust can be.
With a standard will, the probate process is inevitable. The process begins after your death when your beneficiary files your will with the local probate courts. Your executor will inventory your property and have it appraised. Any debts and taxes must be paid. Then the court will validate the will, deduce legal fees and other expenses from your estate, and begin the process of distributing your estate.
All in all, the probate process can take between 6 months and two years.
If you have a living trust set up, the probate process is not necessary. This ensures a less stressful and more efficient distribution of your estate.
As mentioned previously, there is a great deal of time and effort required to navigate the probate process. If you have a will, your estate will be responsible for paying legal and court fees before any money or assets are distributed to your loved ones.
Setting up a living trust may require some upfront expenses, such as legal fees and fees for transferring money into trust accounts and filing the paperwork with the courts. However, the initial cost of setting up a living trust is much less than the time and money spent during the probate process if you have a will only.
Privacy may not matter to you after you pass away, but it will matter to your family and loved ones left behind.
A will must be made public after your death, meaning the public will not only know of your passing, but they will also know who your beneficiaries are and what transactions will occur during the distribution of your assets and estate.
A living trust does not have to be made public, so it ensures your final wishes and your loved ones can navigate your death in a more private manner.
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