When it comes to estate planning, the number of options available can quite easily make the whole process feel overwhelming. How are you supposed to know just exactly what you need and what’s right for you, your family and your assets?
Family and friends might be telling you that you should do this or that but how do you know who to listen to in determining what’s right for you? One thing you may have heard is that you should consider putting your belongings into a trust before you die. What does this mean and why do people take this course of action?
A revocable living trust is an option for estate planning
You can put everything you own into a trust that you can amend or revoke at any point during your lifetime. Even though your belongings are in trust, you’ll still have the benefit of everything throughout the rest of your life. Only after you die will the named items in the trust immediately pass on to those named in the trust documents.
This approach is beneficial in avoiding probate
One of the most attractive benefits of a revocable living trust is that it can help you and your loved ones avoid the probate process altogether.
Since all your property is held in trust for your intended beneficiaries, it will pass directly to them on your death. This means that your assets will pass directly to your intended beneficiary or beneficiaries without having to go through the probate process. It’s crucial to keep in mind that a living trust does not replace the function of a will, which is still required for any other matters and assets not specifically addressed in your trust.
There’s someone to manage your assets when you can’t
A trustee other than yourself can handle the trust’s assets on your behalf if you become incapable of managing them yourself due to illness or another physical or mental incapacity. This is particularly useful if you own a business.
Estate planning is a necessary part of life, no matter what assets you have or don’t have. It’s always a good idea to take some time to plan what you want to happen to your property during your lifetime so that your wishes are honored and your loved ones are protected.