Aside from drafting a will, you can use other estate planning tools to manage your assets properly, such as living trusts. This tool can help you entrust your assets to another person or entity that can hold them for your beneficiaries or heirs. By setting up a living trust, you could get someone else to manage your assets during your lifetime and have them facilitate distribution after your death.
This legal tool can be a helpful way to maintain control over your property while having the following benefits:
- It can help avoid probate. By putting your assets in a living trust, you no longer own them. Your property in the trust can go directly to your beneficiaries after you pass on without going through probate.
- It could yield savings on estate taxes. However, it may depend on your estate’s size and details.
- It can help enforce control over your assets even after death. Aside from indicating how much each beneficiary will get, you can also determine when they can receive their inheritance. Designating these timelines can help keep them from spending their share all at once.
- It can maintain confidentiality. Some people prefer to keep their estate off the public record, which may happen if it goes to probate court. A living trust can help keep the estate’s details private. Only a limited number of people could have access to this information, such as the legal inheritors who might request copies of the trust documents.
These benefits may only apply depending on the estate’s circumstances. Some estates might suffer losses because of the living trust.
Planning to establish a living trust
Before setting up a living trust, it is best to consult a lawyer specializing in estate planning. They could help you set goals and plan based on your estate’s characteristics. An attorney can also help create a trust agreement, considering your unique objectives and preferences.