When most people think of estate planning, they think of wills. There are, of course, advantages to using a will to organize your estate, but the estate planning universe includes so many other tools and mechanisms.
One such will-alternative is the living trust. It goes without saying that living trusts aren’t for everyone – like anything else in estate planning. However, there are benefits to using a living trust, including:
Living trusts skip the probate process, which could end up saving you money. The State of Michigan takes a percentage – usually 1 percent – of every estate that enters probate court. Although creating a living trust can be expensive in its own right, set up costs may be less than the probate fee if you have a large estate.
Living trusts are advantageous for those that value privacy. Probate court is public, which means your family business and personal matters see the light of date. A living trust isn’t subject to the probate process, so all those skeletons get to stay in the closet
A will distributes your assets after your passing, but the funds in a living trust can be accessed while your still alive.
Perhaps you have an adult child that isn’t very responsible with money. With a living trust, you can provide him funds as needed without bestowing his inheritance to him all at once.
Living trusts may seem rather simple, but they’re complex legal entities that should only be set up with the help of an experienced personal injury lawyer. A lawyer can take into account your unique situation and structure the trust around your objectives.
Southfield residents shouldn’t hesitate to get started. If cost is a concern, many lawyers offer a free initial consultation at no out-of-pocket cost to the client.