When you begin planning your estate, you may wonder which documents and planning tools will best provide for your family and allow you to maintain control of your own assets. While many people start by considering a Will, the benefits of a revocable living trust could make it the ideal estate planning tool for you.
1. Your Family Can Avoid Probate
Perhaps the most significant benefit of a living trust is how it helps your family avoid the probate process after your death. Probate is a lengthy process that can last months or even years, keeping your assets inaccessible when your family may need them most. Since a revocable living trust is a private contractor between you and the trust entity, it does not have to go through the probate process.
2. Prepare for Situations Other Than Your Death
Death is not the only situation in which estate planning is important. If you are left mentally or physically incapacitated due to an accident or illness, you want your wishes to be respected. The person you appoint as trustee when you are no longer able to handle your affairs can step in as soon as they have a physician’s declaration that you are incapacitated. They will then have the authority to protect your finances and property.
3. Protect Your Privacy
If privacy is a top priority for you, a revocable living trust may be a better option for you than a will. When an estate—with or without a Will—goes through probate, those legal records become public record. Anyone can pull the court documents and know exactly what you owned and who it was willed to. This could put your family at risk of being targeted by con artists who prey on grieving families. A revocable living trust is a private document.
4. Provide for Your Minor Children
In the unfortunate event that you pass while your children are still young, it’s essential your estate provides for their future needs. With a revocable living trust, you can set aside money to be held in the trust until your children reach a predetermined age while still allowing a guardian to access the money they need to care for your child. Some choose to give their children access to their money once they reach adulthood, while others set up a trust that gives children access to a portion of their money every five or ten years.
This benefit can also provide for adult children who cannot be trusted with the money you set aside for them. If an adult child struggles with addiction or is prone to bad financial decisions, you can set up a trust that distributes money to them as needed, reducing the risk of them mismanaging your hard-earned money.
Prepare for the future now by starting the estate planning process. Call MMZ Law at 909-356-6702 to schedule your free consultation.