There are many ways to control how your property is managed and distributed upon your death. While a will is a popular estate planning tool, you may want to consider combining it with the power of a living trust.
There are many benefits of a living trust, including:
- Avoid probate: If you only have a will, your assets are required to go through probate before reaching your heirs. With a living trust, however, the assets in the trust are not subject to probate. This allows for a more efficient transfer of property.
- Important for incapacity planning: There is more to an estate plan that what happens upon your death. You must also have a plan for protecting yourself in the event of incapacity. With a living trust in place, your trustee can step in to manage your affairs.
- Privacy protection: Do you have concerns about you privacy once you're gone? A will is public record, which allows anyone and everyone to review your assets and where they ended up. A living trust is not public record, thus allowing you to distribute your assets with complete privacy.
- More control over your estate: For example, maybe you want to leave assets to a child who may have difficulty managing money early in their life. With a living trust, you can designate that they don't receive their inheritance until they reach a specific age or milestone (such as graduating college).
- Easy to create: A living trust is more detailed than a will, but with the help of a Philadelphia estate planning attorney it's easy to create. Furthermore, with a revocable living trust, you can make adjustments as necessary in the future.
The decision to create a living trust is a big one. This will impact you and your loved ones while you're living, as well as after your passing.
If you decide to proceed, make a list of all the assets you want to move into a living trust. From there, consult with an estate planning attorney to better understand your legal rights and how to create an ironclad trust.
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