Should you have a Living Trust?

Many folks wonder whether they should have a Will or a Living Trust. A Living Trust can be viewed as a Will replacement for those who desire to avoid probate. Why would you want to avoid probate? Is it bad? Not necessarily. Probate is the court supervised process to get assets from the name of the decedent to the name of the heir. However, the general public views probate as slow and costly. Attorney fees for probate in some counties can start at 4.5% of the value of the asset. Those that choose to avoid probate may have a number of probate assets and want to try to get more of what they have worked a lifetime to accumulate into the hands of their loved ones in a cost efficient and time efficient manner.

In addition to probate avoidance, a Living Trust can provide an orderly plan of distribution just like a will (only without the probate). It can also provide estate tax savings if your estate is large enough and allow for management of assets should you become incapacitated.

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