What if you could control the disbursement of your estate and assets to your loved ones while you are still living and able to ensure that your final wishes are carried out? You can! A living trust is a document that is drawn up to provide clear instructions on how you want your assets distributed to your heirs and can be done while you are still healthy and of sound mind.
There are some distinct advantages to this pre-planning:
- You can avoid probate. When the distribution of assets has to go through probate, it may take up to three years to reach a resolution. Additionally, it is not uncommon to lose over 10% of the estate's value when probate is involved. With a living trust, these problems can be avoided.
- Your family's privacy will be maintained. Since a living trust is a private document and doesn't go through probate, it is not considered a public document. Therefore, the value and inventory of your assets will not be publicized.
- You can ensure that your money stays in your family. Suppose one of your children marries someone you don't particularly care for and then they eventually divorce. Do you want the money from your estate to be divided between your child and his or her ex-spouse? A living trust can prevent this from occurring.
- Your children will be protected. With a trust, you can ensure that money will be available for minors when they are able to manage their own finances. But a living trust can also protect adult children who are financially irresponsible from making bad financial decisions by appointing a trustee to distribute money as needed.
The steps in setting up a living trust aren't necessarily complicated, but it is a good idea to retain legal advice to help you make decisions about which type of trust is best for you, choosing a trustee, and even determining the best way to divide your assets. We at the Law Offices of James S. Shields are here to help you plan for the future of your loved ones. You can contact us for our professional experience.