When most people think of estate planning, their first thought is the last will and testament. However, the last will and testament is not the only option for estate planning, and it may not be the best option either. When you use a will, your heirs receive lump-sum inheritances once the will is probated. But not all of your heirs will necessarily be good at managing money or a large amount of assets. This is particularly true if they are minors at the time of your death. Let our Charlotte living trust attorney explain how using a living trust might be a better choice for you than a simple will.
A living trust and a will do not work the same way
While a simple will makes lump-sum distributions to your beneficiaries, things are different if you use a revocable living trust. As the grantor of the trust, you would act as the trustee while you are living, but you would name a successor to administer the trust after you pass away. You can name an individual that you know personally to act as the trustee, but many people will use a professional fiduciary such as a trust company. Our Charlotte living trust attorney can help you properly draft your trust declaration.
In the trust declaration, you could leave instructions for the successor trustee to follow regarding the way you want assets distributed to the beneficiaries. To protect a young or spendthrift beneficiary, you could instruct the trustee to distribute limited assets on a monthly basis over an extended period of time.
Spendthrift provisions can be useful
A spendthrift family member could burn through his or her inheritance quickly. Down the road, there would be nothing to draw from, and you would not be around to provide financial assistance. The ability to provide spendthrift protections is one advantage that you gain with a living trust over a last will and testament, but you can also take steps to prepare for possible incapacity. Unfortunately, many seniors become unable to handle their own financial affairs at some point in time. Let our Charlotte living trust attorney help.
Using a living trust to prepare for incapacity
There are various causes of incapacity, but Alzheimer’s disease is increasingly common — around 45 percent of people who are at least 85 have contracted the disease. When you create the trust declaration, you could empower a disability trustee to handle the trust administration tasks in the event of your incapacitation.
Living trusts can provide the flexibility you need
You have a great deal of flexibility when you have a living trust so you don’t have to worry about losing control once you convey assets into the trust. You can also add property to the trust along the way, and you can change the terms of the trust at any time. A living trust can be a good choice for a wide range of people.
Living trusts used to avoid probate
The probate process can be time-consuming and costly, and it is public. Anyone who is interested can find out how you planned your estate. To avoid these pitfalls, you could use a revocable living trust. When you establish this type of trust, the trustee can distribute assets to the beneficiaries outside of probate.
Join us for a FREE seminar today! If you have questions regarding living trusts or any other estate planning matters, please contact the experienced attorneys at The Potter Law Firm for a consultation. You can contact us either online or by calling us at (704) 944-3245 (Charlotte, NC or Huntersville, NC) or for individuals in Kentucky, at (606) 324-5516 (Ashland, KY) or (859) 372-6655 . We are here to help!