Wills & Trusts
Services We Can Help You With:
- Living Trust
- Living Trust Amendment
- Power of Attorney
- Advanced Healthcare Directive
- Affidavit of Death
Revocable Living Trust
What are the benefits of a living trust?
The following are a list of benefits of a properly-funded living trust that affect anyone and everyone who has one
♦ Quick and easy transfer of property to your loved ones
♦ Uninterrupted management of the estate should you and your spouse become incapacitated
What is a Living Trust?
A living Trust is designed to pass your assets to your loved ones while eliminating the delay and cost of probate. A living trust is created with a document known as a Declaration of Trust or Trust Agreement. This legal document contains articles which name who you want to leave your property to and how, as well as name those you trust to carry out your wishes.
♦ Our trust package comes with an organizational section for record keeping and to collect information about your personal and financial affairs
♦ Avoid the long, arduous, and expensive probate process
♦ Avoid or reduce certain estate taxes
♦ Trusts are a private documents (as opposed to probate, which is a matter of public record)
♦ A revocable living trust can be revoked or amended at any time during your lifetime
What is Probate?
Probate is the court-supervised process of distributing an estate when a person dies with just a will (or when a person dies without any documents at all). It is expensive, long, and unnecessary.
Probate fees are set by statute. Here is an example of the statutory legal fees for an average-sized estate. Probate costs are based on the gross estate, not the net estate — this means that you don’t take any debt into consideration when calculating the fees and costs
Example: $650,000 Gross Estate
So remember how the probate fees don’t take into account any debt? This includes
mortgages — so what if there is a $600,000 mortgage on the property and other debt? Check out this illustration with the same size estate:
|Mortgages and other debt||($610,000)|
|Net Estate||Net Estate|
|4% of the first $100,000||$4,000|
|3% of the next $100,000||$3,000|
|2% of the next $800,000||$9,000|
|+ Court Costs (estimated)||$1,500|
|+ Executor's fee||$16,000|
|Total Probate Fees||$33,500|
See how much of the estate were eaten up by probate fees? The probate costs ate up almost a third of the net distributed estate.You can see how the probate fees take a much larger bite out of the estate than at first glance.
How it Works
Simply put, you create your living trust, you then transfer ownership of your assets to the trust which you manage as the trustee and then those assets pass to your designated beneficiaries upon your death.
If you become incapacitated or no longer want to manage your trust assets, your named subsequent trustee can take over the management of the assets for your benefit and then distribute them in accordance with your wishes upon your death.
You can also use a living trust and other documents to help plan for the possibility that you may become sick or incapacitated and unable to make your own decisions for yourself. Without a living trust or other legal documentation in place, a court would have to appoint a conservator (or guardian) for you to make decisions on your behalf. Most people would prefer to name someone they choose, know, and trust rather than to leave it up to the courts to decide. Additionally, a petition for conservator ship (or guardianship of an adult) takes time and money which can be avoided with the living trust.