A Living Trust is a legal tool that ensures that your estate will take care of an heir or heirs in a very specific manner, according to your wishes. Examples include:
- A trust fund for a minor, with disbursements over time – a schedule that you set up
- A fund for a special needs or disabled person, especially one who may need special care for a long time
- Specific trust disbursement rules that you set up for heirs whose family situations may change: marriage, divorce, step children, in-laws, etc.
Another big advantage of a Living Trust is that you name the Trustee – someone you have confidence in – so you have peace of mind that your affairs will be handled according to your wishes.
A Living Trust also eliminates the need for probate of assets included in the trust. In addition to the avoidance of Probate, other big advantages of a Living Trust include:
- Privacy: your Trust is not a public document
- Professional advice for your heirs: you can arrange for heirs to receive ongoing advice from professional asset managers
- Living Trusts can result in significant tax savings
As we stated above, the Living Trust is just one tool within Estate Planning. An attorney who is trained in Estate Planning can guide you with an overall plan, and recommend what planning tools are best for you.