Many people choose to draft a living trust in addition to–or instead of–a traditional will. The main difference between the two is that with the first, your assets are placed into a trust which you can continue to use to your benefit while you’re alive. A will only comes into effect after your death. Here are the 3 most important reasons to have your estate planning attorney in Northridge help you plan your living trust.
The main reason people have living trusts is so their assets can be distributed more quickly after their death. Wills have to go through probate, which involves a lot of time and expense–it may be months or years before your family receives their inheritance. Living trusts allow your loved ones to avoid probate and have your assets distributed by your appointed trustee in as little as a few weeks.
Protect Your Privacy
After your death, the will you leave will be made public record, so anyone will be able to find out the details. Living trusts, on the other hand, are kept private, as is the distribution of your property and other assets. If there is a dispute–a family member who has been disinherited, for example–a copy of the trust may be made available to them during the course of a lawsuit; however, a trust will still keep the public at large from finding out personal details about how your assets were distributed.
Choose Your Successor
Living wills can be a great benefit to you during your lifetime as well as after your death. If you become incapacitated through injury or mental illness, your appointed successor will be able to take control of your trust directly. Not only does this save a lot of time, it also allows them to pay your medical bills and other expenses with money taken from the trust. Otherwise your relatives might be left paying your expenses out of their own pockets.
Talk to your estate planning attorney in Northridge to see how else you could benefit from starting a living trust.