Do You Need A Living Trust?
Living trusts can be a much talked about topic in neuro-scientific estate planning, and for good reason. You may have heard financial planners or attorneys mention these trusts being a “will need to have” item within your planning portfolio, but could be confused about what a full-time income trust is, just what it accomplishes, and above all if you need one.
What Is A Trust?
A trust can be an arrangement in which one person, the trustee, holds legal title on the property of another person or group of people, the beneficiaries. Every trust has to have one or more trustee, one beneficiary in addition to the property which is placed into trust, referred to as the corpus. A trust document sets out the rules the trustee needs to follow when managing, distribute, and usually overseeing the corpus. A living trust, also known as an inter vivos trust, is a trust that’s built with the settlor (the person creating the arrangement and funding the trust) while he/she remains alive.
How Does This Benefit Me?
A. Reduces Cost:
When a person drops dead, assets titled in his/her name pass either under the will or by the laws of intestacy which dictate how assets are distributed if there is no will. Either process necessitates intervention in the local Surrogate’s Court and, more than likely, a lawyer. An attorney will typically charge 3-5% in the total value from the probate estate that is or a similar amount charged through the executor/administrator. With a revocable living trust, there is often a slightly higher initial fee to build and fund the trust, but it is commonly a fraction in the expense of probating a will.
B. Saves Time:
By studying the judicial technique of probate, the validity of one’s will is open to challenges by …