Estate planning is an essential aspect of managing your financial portfolio, and a living trust might be a preferable way to disperse some or all of your assets when compared to a will. If you are not familiar with living trusts, these are the top three benefits of putting your assets into one:
Avoid Probate with a Living Trust
No matter how meticulously you have planned your will, it is still subject to probate. This can consume time and keep your heirs from obtaining the properties you have left to them. On top of the grief associated with your passing, they might have to wait months before they can access the funds you intended for them to have. In some cases, this can cause undue financial hardship for survivors.
Increased Privacy with a Living Trust
While wills are made public, living trusts are not. In addition to avoiding probate, you can keep records of your assets out of the public eye with a living trust. Your estate is handled privately, as you laid out in the trust, with the appointed trustee taking over immediately.
Save Yourself Cash with a Living Trust
Another benefit associated with a living trust is that you can save money in most cases. While you will need to make sure that you are in the right financial situation for this, most people with estate planning needs will find that putting at least a portion of their assets into a living trust will help to minimize expenses related to taxes, and legal planning and execution.
In some cases, it is best to use a combination of the two types of legal documentation. You might put many of your assets into the living trust but draft a will that will cover anything not included in the living trust. This will protect any assets that you purchase after establishing the living trust as well as those that were inadvertently overlooked during the initial process. For instance, a life insurance policy through an old employer that you don’t even know is still in effect.
You can draft a living trust on your own, or you can use the services of a professional attorney who specializes in estate planning. While you can save cash by filling out the forms and filing them yourself, you will miss out on valuable insight these professionals bring to the table.
For instance, do you know how to establish your estate, so your assets don’t end up paying for your ongoing medical needs as you age? An attorney can help you to arrange your estate documents so that you adhere to the law while taking advantage of planning tools like living trusts for protecting your assets and your family.
While a will is a useful document to have, you might discover that a living trust is the best choice for protecting your assets. By choosing your trustee with care and obtaining legal aid with the documents, you can rest assured that you have taken the necessary steps to your financial health, and that of your family.
Schedule Your Consultation with Our Experienced California Estate Planning Attorney
Celaya Law is an estate planning law firm in Napa, California. Attorney Anthony Celaya helps families in Napa, Sonoma, St. Helena, Calistoga, and the surrounding areas with setting up wills and living trusts, special needs planning, asset protection, probate administration, business law, and retirement planning.
Schedule a planning session with our experienced Napa attorney today to learn how we can help you and your family: (707) 492-3112.