WHAT IS A LIVING TRUST?
A living trust is a legal document created by you (the grantor) during your lifetime that spells out exactly what your desires are with regard to your assets, your dependents, and your heirs. A living trust bypasses the costly and time-consuming process of probate, enabling your successor trustee to carry out your instructions as documented in your living trust.
THE TWO TYPES OF TRUSTS ARE AS FOLLOWS:
Revocable Living Trust - With a revocable living trust, you transfer your assets into the ownership of the trust. You retain control of those assets as the trustee of your revocable living trust. You can change or revoke the trust at any time you want.
Irrevocable Living Trust - An irrevocable trust allows you to permanently and irrevocably give away your assets during your lifetime. After you give away these assets, you have relinquished all control and interest in these assets.
WHAT IS PROBATE?
Probate is a court-supervised process used to validate your will and distribute your property. The process takes anywhere from 6 months to over 2 years to complete, and may require that lawyers or other professionals be hired. Even if you die without a will, your estate must still pass through the probate system.
- Your will is filed with the probate court and becomes a public record.
- Your executor inventories your property.
- Your property is appraised.
- All debts, including death taxes, are paid.
- The court validates your will.
- Court costs, attorneys’ fees, and executors’ fees are paid from your estate.
- Then, and only then, the remaining of your estate is distributed to your loved ones.
SOME OF THE BENEFITS OF A LIVING TRUST
A properly written and funded living trust can offer the following benefits:
- Avoids probate at death, including multiple probates if you own property in other states.
- Prevents court control of assets at incapacity.
- Brings all of your assets together under one plan.
- Provides maximum privacy.
- Quicker distribution of assets to beneficiaries.
- Assets can remain in trust until you want beneficiaries to inherit.
- Can reduce or eliminate estate taxes.
- Can be changed or cancelled at any time.
- Difficult to contest.
- Prevents court control of minors' inheritances.
- Can protect dependents with special needs.
- Professional management with corporate trustee.
- Provides peace of mind.
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PRIVACY | PEACE OF MIND | ASSET PROTECTION