living trust

What is a Living Trust?

No one likes to think of death, but everyone needs to prepare for the event. Making a will seems like a no-brainer, but a living trust may be a better option. Not only does it skip the time-consuming process of probate, but there are also plenty of other advantages of a living trust. Here is an overview of living trusts to help you decide if you should get one.

What is a living trust?

A living trust is similar to a will. It explains what you want in the event of your death regarding your assets, dependents, and everything else. It also can help ensure that your desires are fulfilled if you become incapable of handling your finances, healthcare, and legal affairs. A living trust is also beneficial to those who are not married but want to give the power of attorney to their significant other. In the event of your death or incapacitation, your successor trustee can carry out your instructions as documented in the living trust.

What are the different types of living trusts?

When you seek out a living trust, you’ll find that there are two separate types: revocable and irrevocable. A revocable living trust allows you to assign a trustee, but you have the ability to withdraw or revoke the trust at any time. The assets pass directly to your beneficiaries without going through probate.

An irrevocable living trust permanently and irrevocably gives away your assets during your lifetime. After you give away your possessions, you no longer have control of the items or property. The assets are no longer considered your estate, so they aren’t subject to estate taxes.

How can I get a living trust?

If you want a living trust, you can visit an attorney, or you can quickly set one up on your own. Some websites like Nolo or LegalZoom charge based on which type of living trust you wish to start. You purchase software that leads you through the steps of setting up your trust, including adding beneficiaries and any assets you may have. The prices vary based on which type of software you wish to purchase. Pricing for a living trust at LegalZoom starts at $249. With the Basic package, you can create a personalized living trust, digital downloads of your living trust, and free revisions for 30 days.

What do I need to make a living trust?

Before you start writing a living trust, here are some things you need. First of all, you need to make a list of all of your assets. This includes paperwork like titles, deeds, stock certificates, life insurance policies, and any other documents you have. You need to determine who you want to make your beneficiary. With a revocable trust, you can change your beneficiaries at a later date. Finally, you need to choose a successor trustee, who is the person that will pay your debts and distribute your assets when you pass.

Last Updated: July 22, 2016